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Dietary Supplementation Infectious Disease

Probiotics should be prescribed to patients given antibiotics

10 years, 5 months ago

3395  0
Posted on Dec 18, 2008, 8 a.m. By Rich Hurd

Physicians should prescribe probiotics to patients given antibiotics in order to prevent diarrhea and thus increase the likelihood that patients complete their course of therapy, say researchers.

Physicians should prescribe probiotics to patients given antibiotics in order to prevent diarrhea and thus increase the likelihood that patients complete their course of therapy, say researchers.

As well as killing bacteria responsible for illness antibiotics also destroy the so-called “good” bacteria that live in the gut, and this causes diarrhea. This unpleasant side effect results in as many as one in five people failing to complete their prescribed course of antibiotic therapy.

Drs Benjamin Kligler and Andreas Cohrssen reviewed seven high-quality studies of probiotics, cultures of “good” microorganisms similar to those found in the gut. Their findings led them to conclude that their is good evidence to support the use of probiotics to prevent diarrhea caused by antibiotic use.

“With the level of evidence that probiotics work and the large safety margins for them, we see no good reason not to prescribe probiotics when prescribing antibiotics,” says Dr Kligler. “The only drawback is that probiotics are not covered by health insurance.”

The authors recommend probiotics that contain doses of more than 5 billion colony-forming units per day for children and more than 10 billion colony-forming units per day for adults.

Kligler B, Cohrssen A. Probiotics. American Family Physician. 2008; 78.

News release: Researchers Find Convincing Evidence That Probiotics are Effective. Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. December 17th 2008.

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