Generic Name: lactobacillus acidophilus (LAK toe ba SIL us AS sid OFF il us)
Brand Name: Acidophilus, Bacid (LAC), Florajen, Flora-Q, Lactinex, Risa-Bid, RisaQuad, Superdophilus, ...show all 14 brand namesNovaflor, Acidophilus Extra Strength, Floranex (obsolete), Flora-Q 2, RisaQuad 2, Acidophilus Probiotic Blend
Medically reviewed: June 9, 2017
What is lactobacillus acidophilus?
Lactobacillus acidophilus is a bacteria that exists naturally in the body, primarily in the intestines and the vagina. Lactobacillus acidophilus has been used as a probiotic, or "friendly bacteria."
Lactobacillus acidophilus has been used in alternative medicine as a likely effective aid in treating diarrhea in children with rotavirus.
Lactobacillus acidophilus has been used in alternative medicine as a possibly effective aid (in children or adults) in preventing diarrhea caused by antibiotics, travel, chemotherapy, or hospitalization. Lactobacillus acidophilus is also possibly effective in treating irritable bowel syndrome, bacterial vaginal infection, colic in babies, lung infections in children, skin problems in children who are allergic to milk, and other conditions.
Lactobacillus acidophilus has also been used to treat lactose intolerance, Crohn's disease, overgrowth of bacteria in the intestines, or vaginal yeast infections caused by antibiotics. However, research has shown that lactobacillus acidophilus may not be effective in treating these conditions.
Other uses not proven with research have included treating indigestion, urinary tract infections, intestinal problems in premature babies, high cholesterol, lyme disease, cold sores, acne, cancer, the common cold, and other conditions.
It is not certain whether lactobacillus acidophilus is effective in treating any medical condition. Medicinal use of this product has not been approved by the FDA. Lactobacillus acidophilus should not be used in place of medication prescribed for you by your doctor.
Lactobacillus acidophilus is often sold as an herbal supplement. There are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for many herbal compounds and some marketed supplements have been found to be contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.
Lactobacillus acidophilus may also be used for other purposes not listed in this product guide.
Follow all directions on the product label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
Before taking this medicine
Ask a doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider if it is safe for you to use this product if you have:
a weak immune system (caused by disease or by using certain medicine).
Ask a doctor before using this product if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Do not give any herbal/health supplement to a child without medical advice.
How should I take lactobacillus acidophilus?
When considering the use of herbal supplements, seek the advice of your doctor. You may also consider consulting a practitioner who is trained in the use of herbal/health supplements.
If you choose to use lactobacillus acidophilus, use it as directed on the package or as directed by your doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider. Do not use more of this product than is recommended on the label.
Lactobacillus acidophilus is available in capsule and tablet form, or as a vaginal suppository. Powder or liquid forms may also be available. Some dairy products, especially yogurt, also contain lactobacillus acidophilus.
The chewable tablet must be chewed before you swallow it.
Do not use different forms of lactobacillus acidophilus at the same time without medical advice. Using different formulations together increases the risk of an overdose.
Call your doctor if the condition you are treating with lactobacillus acidophilus does not improve, or if it gets worse while using this product.
Store lactobacillus acidophilus in a sealed container as directed on the product label, away from moisture, heat, and light.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra lactobacillus acidophilus to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking lactobacillus acidophilus?
Avoid taking lactobacillus acidophilus within 2 hours after you take any type of antibiotic medicine.
Lactobacillus acidophilus side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Although not all side effects are known, lactobacillus acidophilus is thought to be likely safe when taken for a short period of time.
Common side effects may include:
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect lactobacillus acidophilus?
Do not take lactobacillus acidophilus without medical advice if you are using any medications that can weaken your immune system, such as:
medicine to prevent organ transplant rejection; or
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with lactobacillus acidophilus, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this product guide.
- Consult with a licensed healthcare professional before using any herbal/health supplement. Whether you are treated by a medical doctor or a practitioner trained in the use of natural medicines/supplements, make sure all your healthcare providers know about all of your medical conditions and treatments.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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