Information for the public

NICE has said that faecal microbiota transplant (FMT) can be used in the NHS for adults who keep getting Clostridioides difficile infections. You have to have already had at least 2 infections.

Faecal microbiota transplants aim to rebalance the bacteria in the gut by introducing bacteria from the faeces (poo) of healthy people.

Before the procedure, donors have their blood and poo tested and complete questionnaires to check for the risk of passing on harmful gut bacteria, viruses and parasites.

FMT can be put into the gut through a tube that is passed through the nose, or into the rectum (back passage). Or it can be taken orally as capsules. You will usually have a short course of antibiotics before the procedure.

The benefit of the procedure is that it seems to work better than antibiotics to clear up C. difficile infections in people who keep getting them.

Is this treatment right for me?

Your healthcare professionals should give you clear information, talk with you about your options and listen carefully to your views and concerns. Your family can be involved too, if you wish. Read more about making decisions about your care.

Questions to think about

  • How well does it work compared with other treatments?
  • What are the risks or side effects? How likely are they?
  • How will the treatment affect my day-to-day life?
  • What happens if the treatment does not work?
  • What happens if I do not want to have treatment? Are there other treatments available?

Information and support

The NHS website may be a good place to find out more.

Guts UK (020 7486 0341) can give you advice and support.

You can also get support from your local Healthwatch.

NICE is not responsible for the quality or accuracy of any information or advice provided by these organisations.

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