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Taking Probiotics with Antibiotics – How Does It Affect Your Gut Health?

taking probiotics with antibiotics


In today’s health-conscious world, there’s increasing attention on gut health and its relationship with the frequent use of antibiotics. Antibiotics are essential in fighting bacterial infections, but they also affect our gut’s microbiome, the diverse array of microorganisms in our digestive tract.

This has brought probiotics – the good bacteria and yeasts – into the spotlight, especially when used alongside antibiotics. Understanding how combining probiotics with antibiotics can help maintain a healthy balance in our gut microbiome is essential. This approach could be vital in reducing the adverse side effects of antibiotics and supporting our overall health and well-being.


Impact of Antibiotics on Gut Health

Antibiotics, crucial in combating harmful bacteria, can also disrupt the delicate ecosystem of beneficial bacteria in the gut. This disruption can lead to a significant decrease in microbial diversity, which is essential for efficient digestion and overall health and immune function. Unfortunately, this disruption can lead to more than just temporary discomfort; it can increase susceptibility to severe infections such as Clostridium difficile. Common side effects observed during antibiotic treatment include:



Bloating is a common side effect of antibiotics, resulting from an upset in the natural balance of gut bacteria. It can cause a sensation of fullness or swelling in the abdomen, often accompanied by discomfort. This can be particularly noticeable after meals and may persist throughout antibiotic treatment.


Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain, resulting from an imbalance in gut microbiota, can vary from mild discomfort to intense pain. It is a direct consequence of the gut’s response to the loss of beneficial bacteria and can disrupt daily activities, sometimes requiring additional medical attention.



One of the most frequently reported issues with antibiotic use is diarrhea, which occurs due to the disruption of the normal gut flora balance. This can lead to frequent, loose bowel movements, which may result in dehydration and a loss of essential nutrients, complicating the recovery process.



Disturbance in the gut flora due to antibiotics can lead to indigestion, characterized by symptoms like heartburn, bloating, and discomfort after eating. This results from the gut’s reduced ability to effectively process and absorb nutrients from food, leading to discomfort that can affect appetite and overall health during the antibiotic course.


Why Should You Take Probiotics with Antibiotics?

Integrating probiotics into your regimen during and after antibiotic treatment is a proactive approach to counteracting the adverse effects on your gut microbiome. Probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria, are essential in restoring the balance of gut flora disrupted by antibiotics. They play a crucial role in alleviating common antibiotic side effects, such as diarrhea, and bolstering gut health and immune function. Some of the primary benefits of probiotic use with antibiotics include:


Restoration of Gut Microbiome Balance

Probiotics are crucial in repopulating the gut with healthy bacteria, thus helping to restore the gut’s natural microbial equilibrium. This reintroduction of beneficial bacteria assists in re-establishing a healthy gut environment, often compromised during antibiotic treatments.


Reduction of Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea

One of the most noticeable benefits of probiotics is their ability to significantly reduce the frequency and severity of diarrhea commonly associated with antibiotic use. Probiotics can alleviate this uncomfortable and sometimes debilitating side effect by maintaining a healthier balance of gut bacteria.


Prevention of Secondary Infections

A well-balanced gut microbiome, supported by probiotics, plays a defensive role against opportunistic infections such as Clostridium difficile. This is particularly important in the context of antibiotics, which can sometimes leave the body more vulnerable to these types of infections.


Enhanced Immune Function

Probiotics contribute to a stronger immune system by supporting a balanced gut flora. A healthy gut is a critical component of the immune system, and probiotics play a vital role in maintaining this crucial line of defense against illness and infections.


Improved Nutrient Absorption

The presence of healthy gut bacteria, supported by probiotics, is essential for the adequate digestion and absorption of nutrients. This is especially important during and after antibiotic use, as the normal digestive process can be disrupted. Probiotics help ensure that the body continues to effectively absorb nutrients, which is key for maintaining overall health and energy levels.


When to Take Probiotics When Taking Antibiotics?

The timing of probiotic intake with antibiotics is a key factor for maximizing their benefits. To ensure the antibiotics do not neutralize the probiotics, taking them a few hours after the antibiotic dose is generally recommended. This spacing gives probiotics the best chance of surviving and flourishing in the gut.

This strategic timing helps maintain the efficacy of probiotics in supporting gut health and mitigating the potential negative impacts of antibiotics on the gut microbiome.


Can You Get Probiotics from Food?

Beyond supplements, numerous natural food sources are abundant in probiotics and offer a tasty way to boost gut health. Fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kombucha are not only flavorful but also naturally rich in probiotics. Incorporating these into your diet during and after antibiotic treatment can help naturally replenish and maintain a healthy gut microbiome. This dietary approach to enhancing gut flora can be particularly beneficial for those looking to support their gut health through more natural means.


Best Probiotics to Take While You’re on Antibiotics

Selecting the right probiotic strains is crucial when undergoing antibiotic treatment. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains are particularly effective in this scenario. These strains have been clinically proven to endure antibiotic treatment and contribute positively to gut health. For top-quality probiotic supplements with robust clinical backing, NHC’s store offers an excellent range of expert-recommended products:


  • Klaire Labs Ther-Biotic Synbiotic: Available in a 60-capsule pack, this probiotic is a preferred choice for many. It combines seven select probiotic species with Sunfiber, a low-FODMAP certified prebiotic, and boasts a potent 50 billion CFU formulation. This shelf-stable supplement is designed to support a healthy gut microbiome.
  • Pure Encapsulations PureGG 25B: This product contains the highly researched Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG. Available in a 60-capsule pack, PureGG 25B is designed to support immune, gastrointestinal, and overall health for all ages, making it a versatile option.
  • Biocidin Botanicals Proflora 4R Probiotic: Offered in a 30-capsule pack, Proflora4R combines restorative probiotic strains to replenish beneficial flora. This supplement is ideal for those looking to restore their gut microbiome following antibiotic treatment.


These carefully selected supplements from NHC’s store are designed to support and maintain gut health during and after antibiotic treatment, ensuring optimal support for your microbiome.


Bottom Line

Combining probiotics with antibiotic treatment emerges as an effective strategy to support and enhance gut health while reducing the adverse side effects commonly associated with antibiotics. Probiotics play a crucial role in maintaining the balance of gut microbiota, contributing to improved digestive health, stronger immune function, and better nutrient absorption.

When choosing probiotics, particularly during antibiotic treatment, opting for high-quality strains known for their efficacy and survival, such as those available in NHC’s expert-recommended range, is essential.

As always, consulting healthcare professionals for personalized advice on the types and timing of probiotics is vital to achieving the best health outcomes and ensuring a harmonious balance in your gut microbiome.


FAQ Section


Can probiotics reduce antibiotic-related stomach issues?

Yes, probiotics have effectively reduced stomach issues like diarrhea and bloating associated with antibiotic use.


When should I take probiotics with antibiotics?

It’s best to take probiotics a few hours after your antibiotic dose to ensure the survival and efficacy of the probiotic bacteria.


Do antibiotics kill probiotics?

Antibiotics can affect probiotics if taken simultaneously, so a time gap is recommended.


Which probiotic strains are best with antibiotics?

Strains like Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium are particularly effective when used with antibiotics.


How long should I take probiotics post-antibiotics?

It’s advisable to continue taking probiotics for at least a month after completing an antibiotic course to replenish gut flora fully.