Probiotics are live microorganisms that provide health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts. Antibiotics are medications that fight bacterial infections. Antibiotics are medications that kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria, including both harmful and beneficial bacteria. When you take antibiotic medication, this can disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut and lead to the growth of harmful bacteria, which can cause antibiotic-associated diarrhea among other problems.
When taken during antibiotic treatment, probiotics can help restore the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Studies have shown that taking probiotics during antibiotic treatment can reduce the risk of developing antibiotic-associated diarrhea by up to 60%. Some probiotic strains can also help modulate the immune system and reduce inflammation, which can be beneficial for overall health. Additionally, probiotics can help alleviate other common side effects of antibiotics, such as nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
However, the effectiveness of probiotics during antibiotic treatment can depend on a number of factors, including the type and dose of antibiotic being used, the strain and dose of probiotic being used, and the timing and duration of probiotic use. Some antibiotics may be more disruptive to the gut microbiome than others, and some probiotics may be more effective at reducing antibiotic-associated diarrhea than others.
Why don’t doctors prescribe probiotics with antibiotics?
Although probiotics have been shown to be effective in reducing the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, most doctors do not routinely prescribe probiotics with antibiotics. One reason is that there is not yet enough evidence to support the routine use of probiotics in all patients taking antibiotics. (i.e science is not science until there is money to be made by big pharma)
Additionally, different antibiotics can affect the gut microbiome in different ways, and more research is needed to determine the best probiotic strains to use with different types of antibiotics. Therefore, if you ask your doctor about the importance of probiotics during antibiotics, they will most-likely confirm it, but they might not put emphasis on this solution.
My gut microbiota was already suffering when I took back-to-back doses of antibiotics….it turned out to be one of the worst mistakes that I ever made. Again, doctors might not emphasize it, but if you can, it is always a good idea to take probiotics with antibiotics. But again, that was before The Seven Commandments of the Probiotic Lifestyle
Choosing The Right Probiotic
When choosing a probiotic, it’s important to select one that contains strains of bacteria that have been shown to be effective in reducing antibiotic-associated diarrhea. The two most commonly studied strains are Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Saccharomyces boulardii.
It’s also important to choose a probiotic that contains a sufficient amount of live bacteria. Look for a product that contains at least 1 billion CFUs (colony forming units) per dose.
How to Take Probiotics During Antibiotics
To get the most benefit from probiotics during antibiotic treatment, it’s important to take them at the right time and in the right way. Here are some tips for taking probiotics during antibiotics:
- Take probiotics at least two hours apart from antibiotics.
Antibiotics can kill both harmful and beneficial bacteria, so it’s important to take probiotics at a different time from antibiotics to ensure that the probiotics have a chance to work.
- Take probiotics consistently throughout antibiotic treatment.
Probiotics are most effective when taken consistently throughout the course of antibiotic treatment. Aim to take probiotics at the same time each day, preferably with a meal. For context, see: What Happens To Your Body When You Start Taking Probiotics?
- Choose the right form of probiotics.
Probiotics come in many forms, including capsules, tablets, powders, and liquids. Choose a form that is easy for you to take consistently. Like: Are All Probiotics Equal? The Latest Research
- Check with your healthcare provider before starting probiotics.
If you have a weakened immune system or other health conditions, it’s important to check with your healthcare provider before starting probiotics.
Best Probiotics to Take with Antibiotics
The two most commonly studied probiotic strains for reducing antibiotic-associated diarrhea are Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Saccharomyces boulardii. Other strains that may be effective include Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Streptococcus thermophilus.
When choosing a probiotic, look for one that contains at least 1 billion CFUs per dose and has been shown to be effective in reducing antibiotic-associated diarrhea. It’s also important to choose a probiotic that is well tolerated and has a low risk of side effects.
How Long Do You Need to Take Probiotics After Antibiotics?
The duration of probiotic use after completing antibiotic treatment can vary depending on a number of factors. These factors include the type and duration of antibiotic treatment, the specific strain and dose of probiotic being used, and the individual’s overall health status.
Generally, it is recommended to continue taking probiotics for at least two weeks after completing antibiotic treatment. This approach can help restore the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut and reduce the risk of developing antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
However, some experts recommend continuing probiotic use for up to four weeks after completing antibiotic treatment to ensure that the gut microbiome is fully restored. Nevertheless, it is important to note that the effects of probiotics on the gut microbiome are not permanent, and the balance of bacteria in the gut can shift again after probiotic use is discontinued. Therefore, it’s important to maintain a Probiotic Lifestyle to support the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut after a dosage of probiotics. Master your health to the point that you will be in a better position to know the appropriate type and dosage of probiotics for your specific needs, as well as the appropriate duration of probiotic use after completing antibiotic treatment.
Can I Take Probiotics with Antibiotics for UTI?
Yes, it is safe to take probiotics with antibiotics for UTI. In fact, taking probiotics can help prevent the development of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, which is a common side effect of antibiotic treatment for UTI.
Should I Take Probiotics Twice a Day While On Antibiotics?
The frequency of probiotic dosing can vary depending on the product and the specific strain of probiotic being used. High CFU-count probiotics might need to be taken less times compared to those with low CFU-count. Some probiotics may be effective when taken once a day, while others may need to be taken twice a day or more. It is best to follow the dosing instructions on the probiotic product label or as recommended by your healthcare provider. For more: When Is The Best Time To Take A Probiotic?
Taking probiotics during antibiotic treatment can help restore the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut and reduce the risk of developing antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Although most doctors do not routinely prescribe probiotics with antibiotics, it is safe and effective to use probiotics during antibiotic treatment. When choosing a probiotic, look for one that contains effective strains, has a sufficient number of live bacteria, and is well tolerated. It’s also important to continue taking probiotics for at least one to two weeks after completing antibiotic treatment to maintain the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut. As always, it’s important to talk with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.