Medication or Drug Class




Anticholinergic drugs

Oral antibiotics

Varies with drug Varies with drug

Diminishes colon spasms

Kills invading bacteria

Control pain by decreasing spasms

Control the spread of infection when a fever is present

Other Medications: Analgesics may also be ordered. Generally, meperidine (Demerol) is preferred, since morphine increases intracolonic pressure, thus creating more discomfort and possibly intestinal perforation.


For uncomplicated diverticulosis, nursing interventions focus on teaching measures to prevent acute inflammatory episodes. Explain the disease process and the strong connection between dietary intake and diverticular disease. Instruct the patient that a diet high in fiber—such as whole grains and cereals, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and potatoes—should be followed. Caution the patient to avoid foods with seeds or nuts, which may lodge in the diverticula and cause inflammation.

Teach the patient about prescribed medications. In addition, discuss measures to prevent constipation. Instruct the patient to avoid activities that increase intra-abdominal pressure, such as lifting, bending, coughing, and straining with bowel movements. Instruct the patient about relaxation techniques. Discuss symptoms that indicate an acute inflammation, which would require prompt medical attention.

For patients with diverticulitis, provide supportive care to promote bowel recovery and provide comfort. As the inflammation subsides, teach the patient measures to prevent inflammatory recurrences. Instruct the patient about the purpose of any diagnostic procedures ordered. Should surgery be required, instruct the patient preoperatively about the procedure and postoperative care, leg exercises, deep-breathing exercises, and ostomy care when appropriate. Postopera-tively, meticulous wound care must be provided to prevent infection.

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Managing Diverticular Disease

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