When Should I Take Probiotics When Taking Antibiotics
Generally, with a few exceptions aside, it is best to take our probiotic supplements in the morning with breakfast. If you are taking a probiotic containing the strains Lactobacillus acidophilus Rosell-52, Lactobacillus rhamnosus Rosell-11 and Bifidobacterium lactis Lafti B94, you would still be able to follow this recommendation alongside antibiotics and take both with your brekkie.
However, if you are taking different strains, it is best to give a 2 hour gap between antibiotics and taking the probiotic supplement. So, if you have been instructed by your doctor to take your antibiotics with breakfast, you would take the medication first in this instance and leave a 2 hour gap before taking the other probiotics. Its a good idea to take our supplements with food, so in this case, with your lunch or a mid-morning snack.
What Is The Gut Microbiome
Our digestive tract is home to trillions of bacteria as well as fungi and viruses these are known as the gut microbiome.
The makeup of this biome is largely genetically determined however, it is heavily influenced by several factors such as whether we are born naturally or by cesarean section, if we were breastfed, our use of antibiotics, and our exposure to chemicals, pesticides, and other toxins.
Scientists now know that this microbiome is critical to our overall well-being. Some call it our second brain. Small imbalances can cause significant changes to our mental health and in the appearance of our skin and has been linked to almost every known condition such as Alzheimers disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and Type 2 diabetes.
An imbalance may also cause constipation, diarrhea, skin rashes, yeast infections, and a suppressed immune system. Your likelihood of putting on weight also comes down to your microbiome and the influence it has on your response to insulin and thyroid gland function.
Amoxicillin And Its Role As An Antibiotic In Killing Good Bacteria
There are few classes of bacteria that amoxicillin doesnt attack. From opportunistic bacteria such as H. Influenzae to the digestive-focused Helicobacter pylori, it searches and destroys the cultures that cause some of the worst symptoms of food poisoning, meningitis and strep throat. When paired with clavulanic acid, it is particularly effective in breaking down stubborn respiratory tract infections. And while all of this makes it highly useful, it also means that some good bacteria will get pulled down in the crossfire.
Therefore, it is worth considering whether amoxicillin and probiotics can be choreographed in such a way that you get the benefits of the former with no side-effects .
Recommended Reading: Bananas And Bloating
Don’t Miss: Best Probiotics For Hashimoto’s
The Microbiome And The Importance Of Gut Replenishment
Our digestive tract really is a marvel of coordination and if you think about it, it really is a highway,, with the entrance being the mouth and the sinus tract, and then the exits being the anus and the urethra in the genitourinary area. There are several areas along that tract where there are substantial colonies of microorganisms devoted to different purposes to help protect and support our health.*
Our sinuses and mouth have various bacterial species that, when in good health, guard against colonization by pathogenic viruses and bacteria that could cause a variety of contagious illnesses . The delicate balance of these bacteria, however, can be disrupted by the food we eat, certain exposures to microbes or environmental toxins such as toxic molds, which can then increase our risk for various kinds of infections and other symptoms.
When we travel downstream into the stomach and eventually the intestines, eventually we reach what is called the microbiome, which is a collection of bacteria, yeast, viruses and fungi that perform many vital functions. These include digestion, production of vitamins, detoxification, protection against pathogenic organisms and facilitating elimination through the bowel.
Unfortunately, this collection of microorganisms can be damaged in many ways nowadays. This includes but is not limited to:
How To Take Probiotics
How long after you stop an antibiotic should you continue to take your probiotic? Experts say one to four weeks, but the research is unclear. A study published in the journal Cell found that participants who took a probiotic for four weeks after an antibiotic were able to restore their gut microbiome to normal after six months the placebo group, however, colonized new, healthy gut bacteria in just three weeks.
The upshot here? The benefits of taking a probiotic with or after an antibiotic isnt 100% confirmed, but there is little downside to trying it. Stick to the more studied strains such as Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces. Look for supplements with USP seal, a dietary supplement certification that ensures the bottle contains what it says it does. The FDA does not regulate probiotics, so its essential to do some legwork. You can also eat your probiotics in active culture-containing and fermented foods and drinks such as yogurt, sauerkraut, miso, and kefir.
General Info: National Central for Complementary and Integrated Health. Probiotics: What You Need to Know.
Probiotic and AAD:The Journal of Family Practice. Prescribing an Antibiotic? Pair it with Probiotics.
You May Like: Phillips Colon Health Probiotics Capsules
How Safe Are Probiotics
Because microbes used as probiotics already exist naturally in your body, probiotic foods and supplements are generally considered safe. They may trigger allergic reactions, and may also cause mild stomach upset, diarrhea, or flatulence and bloating for the first few days after starting to take them.
There are certain people who need to use caution when using probiotic supplements. There is a risk of infection in some people. These people include those who have:
- A weakened immune system .
- A critical illness.
Caution should also be used when giving probiotics to very sick infants.
Always talk to your healthcare provider before starting a probiotic supplement.
Why You Should Take Probiotics With Antibiotics
Antibiotics play a critical role in killing bad bacteria. But as they destroy infections, they can also cause collateral damage to the good bacteria in your gut, which could result in diarrhea for a couple of daysor even weeksafter you stop taking the medicine.
So how can you get the benefits of antibiotics without the nasty stomach side effects? The answer might be found in probioticspills or even powders with live microorganisms that offer health benefits.
Your intestines contain around 1,000 different species of bacteria, with 100 trillion bacteria in total, says Dr. Lawrence Hoberman, president and chief executive of Medical Care Innovations Inc. If 80% of that bacteria is the good, healthy kind, the harmful bacteria stay at bay. But antibiotics change the balance in the microbiome, which may result in an increase in the harmful bacteria, he explained.
The immune system recognizes the bad guys and will try to destroy them. But in the process, it breaks down the intestinal lining and causes inflammation, and thats how we get antibiotic-associated diarrhea, Dr. Hoberman explains.
One study found that antibiotic-associated diarrhea affects between 5% and 39% of patients, depending on which antibiotic they take. But research shows that probiotics can curb digestion problems. A meta-analysis of 34 other studies found that probiotics reduce instances of antibiotic-associated diarrhea by 52%.
You May Like: Best Liquid Probiotic For Toddlers
Important Tips For Supporting General Health Whilst On Antibiotics
- Eat fermented or prebioticfoods. These can help rebalance the gut microbiome and optimise gut health after a course of antibiotics.
- Avoid refined sugary foods, as these feed the harmful bacteria and yeasts which often overgrow due to antibiotic use.
- Avoid alcohol, even if not contraindicated with your course of antibiotics. Alcohol can also disrupt the gut microbiome and negatively impact immune function, which may hinder your body’s efforts to fight infection.
- Ensure you complete your course of antibiotics. Unpleasant side effects can make it difficult to continue taking antibiotics but failing to complete the course can increase the risk of antibiotic resistance.
- Eat a healthy diet. Don’t let the antibiotics do all the work – include a selection of immune-boosting foods containing vitamin C and other antioxidants, including citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables.
Taking Probiotics With Long
In some clinical situations, antibiotics are used for a much longer time than a week or two. Longer use increases the probability of side events even though probiotics are generally considered safe and well-tolerated supplements . For many indications, they are taken for months with an excellent safety profile.
A relevant example of parallel, long-term use of antibiotics and probiotics is the presence of recurrent urinary tract infections in the pediatric population. Some studies stress the safety and efficacy of taking probiotics with long-term antibiotics . This is not a surprise since numerous scientific articles reveal that probiotics successfully repair gut flora when its balance is disrupted.
Don’t Miss: What Is The Best Probiotic Supplement
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.
Dont Go Strain Shopping
You dont need to find the one right probiotic strain for your specific health condition.
Many different types of probiotics have been shown to be beneficial when used alongside antibiotics.
Thats because all probiotics have a similar effect of balancing the gut microbiota, modulating the immune system and reducing inflammation.
Lactobacillus/Bifidobacterium blends and Saccharomyces boulardii are the two categories of probiotics that are used most often in research. Soil-based probiotics are a third category of probiotics used in research, albeit less frequently.
One very large meta-analysis compared results for 82 different studies and found no difference in results across the three probiotic categories for antibiotic associated diarrhea . Most of the research trials used a blend of probiotic strains.
Read Also: Dr Mercola Complete Probiotics 90 Capsules
What Probiotics For Antibiotic Side Effects
Typically, it will take the body time to balance the microbiome to healthy, diverse bacteria levels. In fact, research shows that it takes about 6 months to recover from the damage done by antibiotics. And even then, the body might not even be back to its pre-antibiotic state.
Saccharomyces boulardii, a probiotic yeast is particularly good at preventing and alleviating antibiotic-associated diarrhea and travellers diarrhea. Its also a friend to your gut bacteria that supports good bacteria and prevents inflammation.
Lactobacillus acidophilus, a probiotic bacterium best known for being in yoghurt is also great for your gut. Studies show that its good at treating and preventing infections, and reducing the digestive side effects of antibiotics.
Other bacteria that help recover from antibiotic use include:
- L. casei
Do Antibiotics Kill Probiotics
Unfortunately, only a few probiotic strains have been shown to survive when taken directly alongside antibiotics. As all antibiotic medication will have some kind of negative impact on the gut microbiome, its really important to choose the right strains of probiotics when taking this type of medication. You want strains that have not only been researched to survive when directly taken alongside antibiotics, but to also demonstrate that they exert benefits.
The extensive research behind the three previously mentioned Lactobacillus strains sets them apart from many probiotic supplements on the market today and makes them a suitable choice for anyone who wishes to take natural bacteria during their course of antibiotics. Furthermore, Lactobacillus acidophilus Rosell-52, Lactobacillus rhamnosus Rosell-11 and Bifidobacterium lactis Lafti B94 have been tested and shown in-vitro to survive stomach acidity and bile salts.
Also Check: Schiff Digestive Advantage Daily Probiotic
Can You Take Doxycycline And Probiotics Together
Research has suggested that its safe to take an antibiotic like Doxycycline with certain probiotics. The reason why only certain types of probiotics tend to work well is simply that some forms of probiotics dont seem to reach the gut alive when taken with antibiotics. So it will never do you harm but some probiotic strains might not be as effective.
However, there are two strains of probiotics in particular, that when taken alongside antibiotics like Doxycycline, have been found to reach the gut alive. These are Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus rhamnosus and lucky for you, studies have shown that they are safe to take at the same time as antibiotics like Doxycycline.
Medical research does not suggest that probiotics interfere with the success rate of antibiotics like Doxycycline. In fact, many doctors have now begun recommending the use of probiotics to patients taking antibiotics, to help prevent certain side effects from occurring. Many doctors recommend the use of probiotic supplements as well as probiotic foods, such as yogurts and kefir, to be taken alongside antibiotics. If youre supplementing with probiotic enriched foods, remember to watch that sugar content .
Can Probiotics Hurt Me
For most healthy people, probiotics dont cause any harm. They are generally considered safe and are often given a try to see if they could help with various medical conditions. Theres a lot of research around the topic of probiotics. Scientists are trying to determine when and how they should be used, as well as how effective they are. Talk to your healthcare provider before starting a probiotic supplement because there are some cases where you shouldnt be taking them. Its always best to have the conversation first before starting a new supplement.
Recommended Reading: How Do Probiotics Help Uti
Side Effects Of Both Probiotics And Antibiotics
It is important to know the side effects of both probiotics and antibiotics.
Probiotics are beneficial for our health, but there can be some adverse reactions. Antibiotic drugs are helpful in curing infections, but they also give rise to serious side effects.
We will look at what these two treatments do to your body and how they work on different parts of the immune system. We will then compare the pros and cons of each treatment so that you can make an informed decision about which one may be best for your needs. First, lets talk about how these treatments affect the gut microbiome
Probiotics Make Antibiotic Sibo Treatment More Effective
There is also research showing that probiotics and antibiotics are more effective together for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth treatment:
- One study of 40 patients with SIBO showed those taking a combination of S. boulardii and metronidazole had more than double the success rate for eradicating SIBO with when compared to those taking metronidazole alone [3
Overall, probiotic co-administration with antibiotics is a safe, non-invasive, and effective way to enhance treatment results.
You May Like: Can You Have Probiotics While Pregnant
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.
The Best Way To Combine Probiotics With Antibiotics
If youre taking antibiotics, I highly recommend taking them with probiotics. In fact, researchers suggest that taking probiotics as early as possible with antibiotics is best for decreasing antibiotic side effects such as antibiotic-associated diarrhea [15
Here are some tips on how to get the most from your probiotic supplement when taking antibiotics.
Also Check: Now Foods Probiotic 10 25 Billion
How To Take Probiotics With Antibiotics
If youve visited your doctor recently and received a dose of antibiotics, its likely that theyor perhaps your pharmacistrecommended you also take a course of probiotics at the same time.
This is because while antibiotics are undoubtedly both necessary from time to time and life-savinga course of antibiotics can also have a dramatic impact on our overall gut health, influencing the amount and diversity of bacteria in our gut and drastically disrupting our microbiome. There are also many different types of antibioticsbut in essence, they work to treat bacterial infections and stop them from spreading further. Trouble is, while killing off harmful bacteria is a wonderful thing, antibiotic treatments are often also broad-spectrum, meaning they can act on a wide diversity of gut bacteria and also wipe out some of the good microbes, too. In fact, research shows that just one week of antibiotics can potentially change the microbiome for as long as a year! Not only that, but as with any drug, there are also side effects and there is now very real attention being paid to the risks of antibiotic resistance which occurs when antibiotics are overusedas well as the effects of antibiotic use early on in life.
Therefore, to help protect and preserve our gastrointestinal health, a course of probiotics is now widely recommended. Curious to know more? Read on