Yes, you can take probiotics with antibiotics! But please read on to find out the answers to your questions.

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.

antibiotics prescription

Your local pharmacist may recommend probiotics when dispensing antibiotics.

Will the probiotics survive?

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 about the clinical research behind L. rhamnosus Rosell-11 on the Probiotics Database, or more about our clinical trials across the range.

Will the antibiotics survive?

Yes, the antibiotics will be unaffected by the probiotics. In fact, because the probiotics protect against the side effects of the antibiotics (such diarrhoea and thrush), the individual is less likely to endure side effects from the antibiotics and therefore more likely to complete the course of antibiotics making it more effective.

Taking other probiotics

If you are taking a probiotic other than 'For those on antibiotics' from our range, it is best to wait 1 to 2 hours after your antibiotics before taking the probiotic supplement (with the exception of 'Saccharomyces boulardii' which is a yeast and therefore won’t be killed by antibiotics). 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?

When might other probiotics be appropriate?

What if I am on long term antibiotics?

If you are on long term antibiotics then you could also consider OptiBac Probiotics 'For every day EXTRA Strength', which has also been clinically trialled alongside antibiotics, and is available in bigger pack sizes. Do note however that this product should be taken 1 to 2 hours after taking your antibiotics.

What about children?

Children aged 1 year and up can also take OptiBac Probiotics 'For those on antibiotics'. However, you may wish to give your child OptiBac Probiotics 'For babies & children' as this is especially formulated for a child’s gut. We feel that at this young age the most important thing is to holistically support the gut microflora to mature, rather than focusing solely on the antibiotic. By using a probiotic suited to supporting the child’s microflora this will be the best way of supporting them throughout the course of antibiotics.

What if I am a woman with intimate health issues?

If you are a woman taking antibiotics for an intimate health issue, it might be worth considering taking OptiBac Probiotics 'For women'. For further information on this area read Which probiotics are best for women?

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.