Our Members Asked:
When is the best time to take probiotics to prevent diarrhea from antibiotics - before, during, or after the course of antibiotic treatment?
Many studies have shown probiotics may reduce the risk of diarrhea associated with antibiotic treatment, although they may not be helpful in all cases. As discussed in more detail in the Probiotic Supplements Review, probiotics can be taken starting the first day of oral antibiotic treatment and continued for 1 to 2 weeks after the completion of antibiotic therapy (be aware that taking probiotics for longer periods of time may delay the restoration of normal bacteria in the gut). It may be advisable to take probiotics and antibiotics at least 2 hours apart to reduce the possibility of the antibiotic killing the probiotic organisms.
For more details about the types and amounts of organisms that have been shown helpful in reducing the risk of antibiotic-related diarrhea see the Dosage section of the Probiotic Supplements Review.
Keep in mind that some experts recommend against taking probiotics to prevent C. difficile-associated diarrhea — mainly due to the cost and the low quality of evidence supporting its use.
Note: If diarrhea occurs when taking an antibiotic and persists for several days, see a physician. Severe cases can be life-threatening.