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Health A-Z

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Harvard Medical School

Treatment

Because large amounts of fluids are lost through vomiting and diarrhea, treatment of food poisoning focuses on preventing dehydration. If you have food poisoning, you must drink fluids, even if you have trouble keeping them down.

Once you can tolerate fluids without vomiting, you can begin to add bland foods to your diet. If vomiting or diarrhea persists for more than 24 hours, a doctor may prescribe medications to suppress nausea, and may provide fluids intravenously. For some infectious causes of food poisoning, antibiotics may be recommended. People with very severe food poisoning may need to be admitted to a hospital.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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