Probiotics and Antibiotics

Probiotic and Antibiotic Test Case

Reducing Antibiotic Side Effects 

There are numerous types of probiotics and antibiotics available to consumers. The problem with antibiotics is that some of them come with their own set of side effects.

At times, these side effects can become serious and debilitating. This is especially the case for those given chronic antibiotic treatment. One such adverse side effect is antibiotic associated diarrhea or AAD. This AAD results from an imbalance in the colonic microbiota, caused by antibiotic therapy.

How to Take Care of Antibiotic Associated Diarrhea

This type of diarrhea manifests as loose bowel movements that takes place at least four times in a day. On the completion of antibiotic treatment, the person’s condition usually improves quite fast.

AAD isn’t usually an issue for people who take antibiotics for a short time. It’s with chronic antibiotic treatments where the problems arise. Another spin off from AAD is dehydration, which is caused by the persistent diarrhea. Taking probiotics with antibiotics can be the perfect solution to prevent or at least lessen AAD. However, this is still something to discuss with a physician at the time, even though you can buy probiotics over the counter.

In the UK, the National Health Service agree that there is some good supporting research into the use of probiotic supplements to help with AAD.

They advise you should take high doses of Lactobacillus rhamnosus or Saccharomyces boulardii alongside antibiotics to offset the effects.

More on Probiotics

Probiotics are part of the natural microflora found in human beings. These are good microbes, ones that help to boost the immune system’s protective functions. More generally, probiotics help to maintain a healthy gut.

Usually, probiotics reside within the gastrointestinal tract or GI tract. Some probiotics are found elsewhere, like in the oral cavity, throat, etc. The ones in the GI tract get to inhibit those disease causing microorganisms. Their role is to ensure that the harmful bacteria don’t invade the micro-environment. This helps to protect the body against disease and gut infections.

Studies have shown that antibiotics can kill off “good” bacteria. Because of this, a lot of doctors now look to prescribe probiotic supplements. It seems that it’s the most effective and natural way to boost microflora after a course of antibiotics.

One set of researchers found remarkable results in a clinical study they carried out. The volunteers were randomly selected from a broad base. Some were offered probiotic supplement along with antibiotic treatment. Others, unknown to the group, were given placebos in place of probiotic supplements.

Those who took the real probiotic supplements saw a significant reduction in antibiotic incidents. The usually associated diarrhea was either not evident or it was much reduced. For the group who took placebos in place of probiotics, the symptoms of AAD were predicable.

At the time, researchers were not in a position to specify which probiotics worked the best. This is because several probiotic types had been used in the trial. It seems that they had not documented which volunteer took what probiotics. Even so, the results with regards to the effectiveness were conclusive.