When antibiotics enter the body they destroy some of the good bacteria in the gut as well as the bad bacteria they are targeting. This upsets the natural balance of bacteria and can cause side effects like diarrhoea, thrush and tiredness. In the longer term this can can lead to digestive problems and lowered immunity.
Doctors used to advise waiting until a course of antibiotics was finished before taking probiotics, as it was thought that antibiotics would just kill off the new good bacteria.
However, research now show you can take both antibiotics and probiotics at the same time if you do so in a way that will protect the good bacteria. How you do this will depend on which probiotics you take and when you take them.
What to take
Not all probiotics are the same. Some off the shelf probiotics contain strains of bacteria that are not effective to use with antibiotics or ones that and can’t survive the acidic conditions in the stomach and never reach the gut.
You need to make sure that you get the right strains of bacteria - Certain strains are most effective to take with antibiotics. Strains of Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and Saccharomyces have been researched and found to reduce the immediate side effects of antibiotic use.
You also need to be sure that the probiotics you buy guarantee the number of good bacteria to be in the product when you take them not just when you buy them.
When to take them
There are certain probiotic products that can be taken at the same time as antibiotics. However, most probiotics should be taken 1-2 hours after taking the antibiotics. A few won’t survive but most will, and can help prevent the immediate potential side effects from taking antibiotics and protect your gut and your immune system from longer term harm. If in doubt ask for advice.
So, take probiotics whilst on antibiotics rather than wait until the course of antibiotics is finished
If you have had a course of antibiotics it is still not too late to take to take a probiotic.
Just remember all products are not alike and you may be best to seek advice from a nutritional therapist to get a good quality effective product
If you want any advice about probiotics then contact me - firstname.lastname@example.org