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Can I Take Probiotics And Antibiotics At The Same Time

What Can Cause Probiotics To Die Off

Can I Take Probiotics When On Antibiotics?

Three big contributing factors to the survivability of probiotics are high heat, exposure to moisture, and stomach acid.

Heat exposure, however, reduces survival, and fluctuating temperature is also an issue. They want to live in a rather stable habitat. Moisture is another issue that probiotics struggle with. They are inactive when in the form of powder in a capsule, but become active when moisture is introduced.

They will not be able to thrive and will die if they are not in the digestive system. It is critical to keep the probiotics cool and dry. This is especially crucial for strains such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria, two types of beneficial bacteria typically found in probiotic supplements.

Both of these bacterial strains originated in the human intestines, which is an area of the body that is ideal for their ongoing survival due to its steady temperature and favourable environment for the bacteria to thrive.

When it comes to probiotic survival, packaging and shipping methods make a major difference. Most Probiotics are packaged in distinctive blister cards that prevent moisture exposure and are sealed airtight to protect your supplements from moisture and excess oxygen.

Protecting the probiotics in this manner may increase their viability and shelf life.

Do Probiotics Disturb Antibiotic Functioning

There is no suggestion in current research that probiotics interfere with the action of antibiotics in any way. In fact, doctors and GPs are often now recommending probiotic supplements and probiotic foods, such as yoghurts or kefir, to be taken alongside a course of antibiotics.

What Do Probiotics Do

Probioticsâ purpose is to introduce good bacteria into the gut. They are live organisms that help treat and even prevent some illnesses. Probiotics directly affect the health of our digestive systems and immune health. Probiotics are found in food like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and other fermented foods and drinks. Additionally, probiotics are available as a supplement in liquid, capsule, powder and tablet forms. Itâs recommended that everyone have probiotics in their diet on a daily basis.

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Best Probiotics For Long

Its a good idea to look for research on the best probiotics when taking antibiotics long term if you are on longer courses of medication. If you need to take long term antibiotics, you may wish to consider choosing a supplement that contains Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM®. A supplement that contains this particular strain has been demonstrated in a randomised controlled trial to minimise disturbance to the composition of the gut microbiome when taken alongside antibiotics14. This can be useful when antibiotics are being taken for longer than two weeks. However, it is recommended to take this probiotic strain 2 hours away from an antibiotic, rather than at the exact same time.

How To Replenish Good Bacteria After Antibiotics

Can I Take Probiotics When On Antibiotics?

Restoring gut flora after antibiotics is achievable if you eat the correct foods: plants. That’s because your gut microbes turn fibers and plant nutrients into important metabolites like short-chain fatty acids – acetate, butyrate, and propionate – which have important functions:

  • fuelling the cells of your gut lining
  • preventing damage to your cells
  • anti-cancer properties
  • nourishing other beneficial bacteria
  • deterring opportunistic microbes

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Probiotics May Help Prevent Diarrhea Due To Antibiotic Use

ARCHIVED CONTENT: As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date each article was posted or last reviewed. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

Eating yogurt or taking a so-called probiotic when you have to take antibiotics may help prevent the diarrhea that often accompanies antibiotic treatment.

Thats the conclusion of a study just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. A team of California-based researchers combined the results of 63 randomized trials pitting probiotics versus placebo among almost 12,000 men and women taking antibiotics. Those who took antibiotics plus probiotics were 42% less likely to develop diarrhea as those who got the placebo.

About one in three people who take antibiotics develop diarrhea. The symptoms usually start on the last day or two of antibiotic therapy, or a day or so after it has ended. The diarrhea is usually mild, with two to four loose stools per a lasting for a couple days. In most cases, it gets better quickly without treatment. That said, antibiotic-associated diarrhea makes some people very sick. The most severe form, called C. difficile colitis, can be life threatening.

Take Probiotics During And After Treatment

Taking antibiotics can alter the gut microbiota, which can lead to antibiotic-associated diarrhea, especially in children.

Fortunately, a number of studies have shown that taking probiotics, or live healthy bacteria, can reduce the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea .

One review of 23 studies including nearly 400 children found that taking probiotics at the same time as antibiotics could reduce the risk of diarrhea by more than 50% .

A larger review of 82 studies including over 11,000 people found similar results in adults, as well as children .

These studies showed that Lactobacilli and Saccharomyces probiotics were particularly effective.

However, given that probiotics are usually bacteria themselves, they can also be killed by antibiotics if taken together. Thus, it is important to take antibiotics and probiotics a few hours apart.

Probiotics should also be taken after a course of antibiotics in order to restore some of the healthy bacteria in the intestines that may have been killed.

One study showed that probiotics can restore the microbiota to its original state after a disruptive event, such as taking antibiotics .

If taking probiotics after antibiotics, it may be better to take one that contains a mixture of different species of probiotics, rather than just one.

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Why Take Probiotics After Antibiotics

If youve just taken antibiotics to beat illness or bounce back from an infection, youre likely feeling better after just a few doses. And thats great! Antibiotics are incredibly important when it comes to fighting infection because they are incredibly effective at their job.

If youre wondering, do antibiotics kill good bacteria, too? The answers yes! Antibiotics cant differentiate between the good bacteria and the bad bacteria. They eliminate the bad stuff that can make you sick and cause infection and the good stuff that keeps your digestive tract healthy and your immune system strong.

So, at the end of a round of antibiotics, your bacteria in your gut is thrown entirely out of balance. And this is exactly where taking a probiotic supplement after antibiotics can help! Heres how:

  • Probiotics after antibiotics introduce millions of new, healthy bacteria to your gut.
  • This bacteria then grows even more bacteria to support your digestive system.
  • And they all fight off bad bacteria, infection, and future illness!

Can I Take Probiotics With Antibiotics

Can I Take Probiotics With Antibiotics?

Yes. Extensive clinical research suggests the best probiotic to take with antibiotics are particular strains that can be taken alongside antibiotics, rather than separately. These particular strains are Lactobacillus acidophilus Rosell-52, Lactobacillus rhamnosus Rosell-11 and Bifidobacterium lactis Lafti B94. These strains can be taken at exactly the same time as antibiotic medication, which is not the case for most other probiotic supplements. Health professionals can read this article about research using a probiotic for antibiotics.

Its not necessarily bad or counterproductive to take other probiotic strains alongside antibiotic medication, it just means that the probiotic may not be viable, but rest assured, the antibiotic medication itself would not be affected. Its always good to take strains of probiotics that have been studied to help with the health concern or situation you are looking to support as not all probiotics are the same.

Taking well-studied strains that have been shown to survive when taken at the same time as the antibiotic medication is particularly useful alongside intravenous antibiotics which may be constantly administered on a drip. We would always say that it is a good idea to take probiotics during and after courses of antibiotics we will discuss the best probiotics for after antibiotics later in this article.

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Which Are The Best Probiotics To Take Alongside Antibiotics

A question we often get asked is, which are the best probiotics with antibiotics, in terms of the associated diarrhoea? As seen above, it seems that this is the main area of concern when taking this type of medication.

Its important to select strains of probiotics that have been tested in clinical trials and have been shown to reach the gut alive when taken alongside antibiotics. The more friendly bacteria present in the gut, the lower the chance of developing digestive issues like diarrhoea. Three strains of probiotics in particular, Lactobacillus acidophilus Rosell-52, Lactobacillus rhamnosus Rosell-11 and Bifidobacterium lactis Lafti B94 have been shown to do this. They can safely be taken at exactly the same time as antibiotic medication. The recommended use for a supplement containing this probiotic combination is as follows:

  • Take one capsule daily with breakfast, even with your antibiotic medication.
  • Take daily until the antibiotic course is finished, and preferably for one week after.
  • Continue until the pack is completed and add a second pack if the antibiotic treatment lasts more than one week.

In clinical trials involving those undergoing antibiotic treatment for Helicobacter pylori infection, participants were given Lactobacillus acidophilus Rosell-52, Lactobacillus rhamnosus Rosell-11 and Bifidobacterium lactis Lafti B94 alongside antibiotics all three strains were proven to survive alongside the medication11,12.

The Benefits Of Taking Probiotics While On Antibiotics

Its important to take probiotics while on antibiotics in order to maintain the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut. Antibiotics can kill both the bad and good bacteria, leaving you susceptible to infection. Probiotics help replenish the good bacteria, keeping you healthy.


  • Taking probiotics while on antibiotics can help to reduce the side effects of antibiotics.
  • Helps with intestinal problems caused by antibiotics.
  • Can cure diarrhea caused by taking antibiotics.

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Antibiotics And What Are They Prescribed For

Antibiotics are the medicines that help to stop infections caused by bacteria, fungi or some specific parasites. They do this by interfering the copy and reproduction of microorganisms and killing them. Antibiotics are often prescribed to prevent infection after surgery.

However, some viral infections such as the flu, sore throats, coughs and common cold are also prescribed by the doctors for antibiotic therapy, and of course, they can not be cured efficiently and cause antibiotic resistance if taking for a long time in many cases.

How Can Probiotics Help When Taking Antibiotics

Gastroenterologists In Florida

Probiotics are live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host. The use of probiotics can help prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea . AAD is a common complication that can occur as a result of antibiotic use, which can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. Probiotics help to restore the gut flora that is killed off by antibiotics, which can help to reduce the risk of developing AAD.

Antibiotics work by killing bacteria, and while they can help you to recover from an illness faster, they can also sometimes have a negative impact on the good bacteria in your gut.

The most common side effect is diarrhea, but taking antibiotics when you have a stomach bug can actually put you at risk of more severe complications such as dehydration, intestinal infections, and the spread of resistant bacteria. Probiotics are generally safe for everyone to take, but you should consult with your doctor before taking them alongside antibiotics.

Different types of antibiotics kill different types of bacteria, which means they are not all interchangeable. While taking probiotics is helpful for reducing the risk of AAD, many types of probiotics should not be taken at the same time as an antibiotic. There are some types of bacteria that antibiotics only work against, and taking a probiotic will not help you recover from those illnesses faster.

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How Long Should You Take Probiotics

While probiotics are especially beneficial during and after antibiotics, consider adding them to your diet, full-time. Supporting your gut regularly allows your bodys digestive system to function at its best. Plus, theres no definitive research with a recommendation. So, err on the side of caution and continue taking probiotics for the long run!

Why Do Scientist Think Probiotics With Antibiotics Reduce Diarrhea Risk

The primary cause of post-antibiotic diarrhea is infections by bacteria like C. difficile. I also think candida and parasite infections are a cause, but I havent seen research investigating those causes.

Scientists know that when you take antibiotics, you kill probiotic bacteria that form your intestinal protective barrier. With a compromised probiotic barrier, your intestines are more open to infection.

But, when you take probiotics with antibiotics, you help reinforce the probiotic barrier on your intestinal wallmaking infection less likelyand decreasing the risk of post-antibiotic diarrhea by 42%.

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Probiotics And Antibiotics: An Overview

  • Antibiotics deplete the populations of friendly bacteria in the gut and may cause digestive issues so its important to select probiotics to take with antibiotics, dont wait until the course has finished.
  • If taking Lactobacillus acidophilus Rosell-52, Lactobacillus rhamnosus Rosell-11 and Bifidobacterium lactis Lafti B94 then take them with breakfast. These strains can be taken at the SAME time as your antibiotic if this is also at breakfast-time.
  • If taking a different probiotic supplement, wait at least 2 hours after your antibiotics before taking probiotics.
  • It is important to always follow the advice from your doctor, and always take and finish a course of antibiotics as prescribed. Taking probiotics alongside antibiotics may reduce digestive issues and enable you to finish a course, reducing the chances of antibiotic resistance.
  • If you have already finished a course of antibiotics before being recommended a friendly bacteria supplement, better late than never by all means take a probiotic now! For next time, you know you can take them during as well as after.
  • It simply isn’t a question of antibiotics OR probiotics – it’s a question of antibiotics AND probiotics.

You may also wish to read our FAQ, At what time should I take probiotics?

Probiotics Instead Of Antibiotics

Do Probiotics Work? It Depends on What You Want to Happen

As the field of microbial research continues to expand, we expect the future of medicine will include targeted probiotic prescriptions in lieu of antibiotics, and that antibiotics will be reserved for specific or emergency scenarios.

In fact, probiotics are already proving to be more effective than antibiotics at treating and preventing certain diseases and infections, such as mastitis.

In one study, researchers analyzed 352 women suffering from mastitis, a painful breast infection often associated with breastfeeding. After 21 days, women who took probiotics saw more improvement and fewer recurrences than those taking antibiotics .

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When To Take Probiotics After Antibiotics

If youre wondering when to take probiotics with antibiotics, a good rule of thumb is to wait at least two hours after your dose of antibiotics. This gives the antibiotics time to get through your digestive system and into your bloodstream. If you take them together, the antibiotics will wipe out the bacteria in your probiotic supplement.

Its a great idea to take your probiotics right before bedtime. That way your probiotic will be busily working all night long while you sleep. As far as taking probiotics after a round of antibiotics, wed recommend at least a couple of weeks of high doses of probiotics to help repopulate the damaged gut flora!

Take Probiotics To Restore Gut Flora

Probiotics are your good gut bacteriathe ones that support healthy digestion, produce nutrients and get rid of toxins and pathogens, among other key roles. A diet rich in probiotics can help good microbes colonize in your gut and keep the unfriendly ones at bay. Heads up:

The histamines in fermented foods mean that some choices, like miso and conventional yogurt, dont work for everyone. Probiotic supplements are super effective ways to get these beneficial bacteria in your diet.

Heres an easy win: Bulletproof Unflavored Gut Health Collagen Protein covers all your bases. It contains probiotics, plus prebiotic acacia , glycine and zinc carnosine to a healthy gut lining.

What to know about probiotics and antibiotics

Every dose of antibiotics wipes out a large portion of bacteria throughout your entire body, including the good guys. After that, the good microbes and the unfriendly ones slowly rebuild, and if all goes well, they come back into balance. But, it takes time, and they dont always colonize in harmony.

To keep one strain of gut flora from taking over, take a probiotic supplement while youre taking antibiotics. The friendly probiotic bacteria may not colonize in the gut, but they can still help you through a course of antibiotics.

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Take Probiotics To Reduce Antibiotic

Diarrhea is a common side effect of antibiotics. However, preliminary research suggests that taking probiotics may help prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea .

For example, one review of 17 studies found that taking a probiotic may reduce the risk of developing AAD by 51%.

Moreover, some antibiotics can leave you more vulnerable to certain infections, like Clostridium difficile . This is a bacterial infection that can cause diarrhea, an inflamed colon, and, in severe cases death.

However, preliminary research found that taking probiotics may help prevent diarrhea from C. diff infections, though the correlation was weak. For example, based on a review of 31 studies, researchers report that one case of diarrhea for every 42 C. diff-infected patients may be prevented from taking probiotics.

As for what type of probiotic to take, one option is a yeast called Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745, sold under the brand name Florastar. This probiotic supplement is used to help prevent and treat diarrhea.

Those who are immunocompromised may not benefit from probiotics and should discuss other options with a doctor.

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