Why should I take probiotics when taking antibiotics?

Eva B. Cwynar, MD
Internal Medicine
Antibiotics are used to kill off "bad" bacteria that may be causing the body harm. Unfortunately, they often kill off good bacteria in the gut at the same time. Antibiotics frequently cause diarrhea as well when they disturb the natural balance of bacteria in your gut, causing certain bacteria to multiply far beyond normal numbers. Antibiotic diarrhea affects up to one in five people receiving antibiotic therapy. Researchers are beginning to advocate the use of probiotics to restore the gut flora during and after a course of antibiotics. In fact, researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine recommended that doctors prescribe probiotics at the same time they prescribe antibiotics. They also noted that the effects of probiotics are short-lived, so they should be taken throughout the course of antibiotics. They recommended doses of at least 10 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) per day for adults.
The Fatigue Solution: Increase Your Energy in Eight Easy Steps

More About this Book

The Fatigue Solution: Increase Your Energy in Eight Easy Steps

        Every day, all over the world, millions of women are grappling with many of the same mind and body issues: low sex drive, weight gain, sexual dissatisfaction, chronic stress, anxiety,...

Continue Learning about Dietary Supplements

Dietary Supplements

Whether you're visiting the drug store, grocery or natural food shop you'll likely find an aisle where there are jars and bottles of things for you to put in your body that are neither foods nor medicines. Ranging from vitamins an...

d minerals to fiber and herbal remedies, these supplements are not regulated in the same way as either food or medicine. Some of them are backed by solid research, others are folk remedies or proprietary cures. If your diet does not include enough of certain vitamins or minerals, a supplement may be a good idea. Natural treatment for conditions like constipation may be effective. But because these substances are unregulated, it is always a good idea to educate yourself about the products and to use common sense when taking them. This is even more true if you are pregnant or taking a medicine that may be affected by supplements.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.