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VSL#3

Generic Name: bifidobacterium, lactobacillus, and streptococcus (BIF eye doe bak TEER ee um, LAK toe ba SIL us, and STREP toe KOK us)
Brand Name: VSL#3

What is VSL#3 (bifidobacterium, lactobacillus, and streptococcus)?

Bifidobacterium, lactobacillus, and streptococcus is a medical food used as a probiotic, or "friendly bacteria" to maintain a healthy digestive tract (stomach and intestines).

Bifidobacterium, lactobacillus, and streptococcus is used in people with irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, or an ileal pouch.

Not all uses for bifidobacterium, lactobacillus, and streptococcus have been approved by the FDA. This product should not be used in place of medication prescribed for you by your doctor.

Bifidobacterium, lactobacillus, and streptococcus may also be used for purposes not listed in this product guide.

What is the most important information I should know about VSL#3 (bifidobacterium, lactobacillus, and streptococcus)?

Do not use this product without medical advice. 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.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking VSL#3 (bifidobacterium, lactobacillus, and streptococcus)?

Before using this product, talk to your healthcare provider. You may not be able to use bifidobacterium, lactobacillus, and streptococcus if you have certain medical conditions.

Bifidobacterium, lactobacillus, and streptococcus is available in capsule, tablet, powder, and chewable tablet formulations. Do not use different formulations at the same time without medical advice.

Ask a doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider if it is safe for you to use this product if you have:

  • milk allergy or lactose intolerance; or

  • if you are taking an antibiotic medication.

It is not known whether bifidobacterium, lactobacillus, and streptococcus will harm an unborn baby. Do not use this product without medical advice if you are pregnant.

It is not known whether bifidobacterium, lactobacillus, and streptococcus passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this product without medical advice if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give any herbal/health supplement to a child without medical advice.

How should I take VSL#3 (bifidobacterium, lactobacillus, and streptococcus)?

Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose.

Check your product label to see whether you should take this product with or without food.

Mix the oral powder with cold water or a non-carbonated drink or soft food (applesauce, yogurt, ice cream). Eat or drink this mixture right away. Do not save it for later use.

You may also open the capsule and sprinkle the probiotic into a cold drink or cold soft food, following the same directions for the oral powder.

Mix this product only with a cold liquid or soft food.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse while using bifidobacterium, lactobacillus, and streptococcus.

Store this product in the refrigerator, do not freeze. Heat or humidity may affect the live bacteria in this product, making it less effective.

Throw away this product if the expiration date on the label has passed.

If you need to store this product out of a refrigerator, it will keep for up to 2 weeks at room temperature without affecting the live bacteria. Protect the probiotic from heat, humidity, and direct light.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra bifidobacterium, lactobacillus, and streptococcus 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 VSL#3 (bifidobacterium, lactobacillus, and streptococcus)?

Do not mix the oral powder with hot liquids or foods.

VSL#3 (bifidobacterium, lactobacillus, and streptococcus) side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Common side effects may include:

  • stomach bloating or discomfort.

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.

Side Effects (complete list)

What other drugs will affect VSL#3 (bifidobacterium, lactobacillus, and streptococcus)?

Other drugs may interact with bifidobacterium, lactobacillus, and streptococcus, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

More about VSL#3 (bifidobacterium infantis / lactobacillus acidophilus / streptococcus thermophilus)

Related treatment guides

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about bifidobacterium, lactobacillus, and streptococcus.
  • 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.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.02.

Date modified: December 03, 2017
Last reviewed: April 28, 2017

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