Medically reviewed on April 28, 2017.
What is VSL#3?
VSL#3 is a medical food used as a probiotic, or "friendly bacteria" to maintain a healthy digestive tract (stomach and intestines).
Not all uses for VSL#3 have been approved by the FDA. This product should not be used in place of medication prescribed for you by your doctor.
VSL#3 may also be used for purposes not listed in this product guide.
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.
Before taking this medicine
Before using this product, talk to your healthcare provider. You may not be able to use VSL#3 if you have certain medical conditions.
VSL#3 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:
It is not known whether VSL#3 will harm an unborn baby. Do not use this product without medical advice if you are pregnant.
It is not known whether VSL#3 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?
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 VSL#3.
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 VSL#3 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?
Do not mix the oral powder with hot liquids or foods.
VSL#3 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.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect VSL#3?
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.
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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