Yes you can take probiotics with antibiotics! But please read on to find out about timing.

When antibiotics enter the system they naturally destroy some of the body's good bacteria as well as the bad, and this disruption is thought to be the reason for side effects such as diarrhoea or thrush. Many people, when prescribed antibiotics, choose to supplement their natural bacteria with a probiotic.

Doctors used to advise waiting for your antibiotics course to finish before starting a course of probiotics. The theory here is that antibiotics (which by nature kill bacteria) destroy your probiotics as well, so taking them together could be futile. However at OptiBac Probiotics we advise taking a course of probiotics during your antibiotics course, as well as afterwards. We explain the reasoning and recommended use below.

antibiotics prescription

Your local pharmacist may recommend probiotics when dispensing antibiotics.

Taking OptiBac Probiotics 'For those on antibiotics'

Our supplement For those on antibiotics contains two high quality strains of natural bacteria, Lactobacillus rhamnosus Rosell-11 and Lactobacillus acidophilus Rosell-52. 'For those on antibiotics' has seen numerous clinical trials conducted alongside antibiotics, and can safely be taken at the same time as antibiotics. The recommended use for this supplement is as follows:

  • Take one capsule daily with breakfast*, until antibiotics course is finished, and preferably for one week after.
  • Continue taking until pack is completed and add a second pack if the antibiotic treatment lasts more than one week.
  • OptiBac Probiotics may be used on an ongoing basis.

* Can be taken at the same time as antibiotics - this product has been clinically trialled alongside antibiotics and found to reach the gut alive.

For those on antibiotics The extensive research behind OptiBac Probiotics 'For those on antibiotics' sets it apart from many live cultures supplements on the market today, and makes this supplement a suitable choice for anyone who wishes to take natural bacteria during their course of antibiotics. Furthermore these two strains, Lactobacillus rhamnosus Rosell-11 and Lactobacillus acidophilus Rosell-52, have been tested and shown in-vitro to survive stomach acidity and bile salts.

Healthcare practitioners can read more about the clinical research on this product when taken alongside antibiotics, or more about our clinical trials across the range.

Taking other probiotics

If you are taking a different probiotic from our range, it is best to wait 1 to 2 hours after your antibiotics before taking the probiotic supplement. If you are taking a probiotic from a different supplier, perhaps a yoghurt or another supplement containing live cultures of natural bacteria, it is best to ask your supplier about timings.

However as a general idea, other companies tend to recommend waiting 1 or 2 hours after taking antibiotics before taking your probiotics. After 1 or 2 hours, the antibiotics will have passed through the body, and at this stage it is safe to take a probiotic without worrying about the natural bacteria being destroyed. It is still generally recommended to take probiotics every day during your course of antibiotics; this way you can replenish your friendly bacteria on a daily basis, before your digestive system is upset by a longstanding microbial imbalance.

You might also like to read our FAQ, Why consider OptiBac Probiotics over yoghurt drinks?

In conclusion

  • Take probiotics with your antibiotics instead of waiting to finish your course of antibiotics.
  • If taking 'For those on antibiotics', take it with breakfast, whether or not this coincides with your antibiotics.
  • If taking a different probiotic or live cultures supplement, simply wait 1 or 2 hours after your antibiotics before taking probiotics.

If you have already finished a course of antibiotics before being recommended a probiotic, better late than never; by all means take the probiotic now! But for next time, you know you can take them during as well as after.

You may also wish to read our FAQ, At what time should I take probiotics?

For further reading, for those on a regular course of antibiotics lasting 5 to 7 days, see For those on antibiotics.

NB: These directions were updated in March 2014 following analysis of our research. Please note that packs of 'For those on antibiotics' purchased in the near future from retailers may still have the old recommended use (advising consumers to wait 30 minutes between antibiotics and probiotics). Rest assured this is exactly the same product, and it can safely be taken at breakfast time - whether or not this is at the same time as antibiotics.