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Should you take probiotics with antibiotics?

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 10, 2019.

Official Answer


If you suffer from stomach cramping, gas or diarrhea when you take antibiotics, adding a probiotic may help to lessen, or even prevent, these symptoms.

Taking an antibiotic for an infection can kill beneficial bacteria that live in your gut to help it maintain digestive balance. Antibiotic-induced diarrhea can also lead to an infection with Clostridium difficile, also known as C. difficile, which can cause dangerous inflammation in your colon (colitis).

Probiotics will reintroduce the helpful bacteria into your digestive tract that have been reduced by the antibiotic.

Yogurt that contains live cultures can also be used during antibiotic treatment, as long as you are not lactose intolerant. Also, be sure to ask your pharmacist if the calcium in the yogurt will interfere with your antibiotic effectiveness.

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