Probiotics: Preventing Complications of Antibiotic Use
Key Points
Key Points
  • While antibiotics are clearly beneficial for the treatment of infectious disease, they have adverse effects on the diversity of the microbiota that can be long lasting.
  • Probiotics can help maintain diversity of the microbiota while taking an antibiotic and prevent the consequences of dysbiosis, short-term and longer-term.
  • Frequently implicated antibiotics in AAD include clindamycin, ampicillin, cefixime, amoxicillin-clavulanate, erythromycin, although there is a potential risk with any agent.
  • Selection of an appropriate product is critical as probiotics have distinct properties.
  • It cannot be assumed that all probiotics will reduce the risk of AAD and CDAD. Certain probiotic formulations have demonstrated efficacy in clinical trials, while others have not. The vast majority of probiotic products in the Canadian market have not been evaluated for these conditions.
  • A minimum dose is required (10 billion CFU) in order to have a beneficial effect for AAD and/or CDAD
  • Probiotics are generally taken 2 hours after consuming the antibiotic, continuing a minimum of 5 days after completion of treatment to reduce the risk of CDAD. However, ongoing use of some probiotics, but not all, may confer long term general health benefits.
  • Storage of probiotics under refrigeration can help ensure the viability of the microorganisms that they contain. However, some products are design to maintain the stability at the room temperature. Please refer to label for proper storage information.