Can I take live cultures with antibiotics?

It is a common misconception that you can't take live cultures when on antibiotics. In fact, taking live cultures with strains that have been specifically researched alongside antibiotic medication is highly recommended.

You will have been given a course of antibiotics for a reason - they have an important job to do. Unfortunately though, some people suffer from unpleasant side effects, the most common being antibiotic-associated diarrhoea1.  

In recent years it has become well known that antibiotics negatively affect our gut microbiome2. Ideally, you want to start taking live cultures as soon as you start a course of antibiotics. Of course, this isn't always possible, so please be assured that the live cultures in our supplements are proven to reach the gut alive, even if you start taking them a few days after you start the course of antibiotics. 

Can I take live cultures and antibiotics at the same time of day?

You can safely take For Those On Antibiotics supplement with breakfast as we usually recommend, regardless of when you take your antibiotics. This because the strains of live bacteria in this supplement have been proven to be hardy against the effects of antibiotics3.

If you are taking other live cultures supplements, including Every Day EXTRA, whilst on antibiotics we recommend leaving a gap of at least two hours to give the delicate live cultures the best chance of survival.

The best live cultures to take with antibiotics

For Those On Antibiotics is most suitable for adults and children over the age of 4 currently taking a course of antibiotic medication, either short term or long term.  The highly researched strains in For Those On Antibiotics are safe take at the same time as a variety of antibiotics. This supplement is also perfectly safe to take ongoing if you are on a long-term course of antibiotics.

Once you have finished your course of antibiotics it is absolutely fine to continue taking For Those on Antibiotics until the pack is finished. Equally, if you prefer to switch to a higher strength supplement, like Every Day MAX, or a daily supplement to support gut and immune health, like Adult Gummies, that is fine too. The important thing is keeping your friendly bacteria topped up!

Here are guidelines for taking live cultures with antibiotics for easy reference:

  • For Those On Antibiotics can safely be taken alongside antibiotics
  • Other live cultures supplements can be taken at a different time of day - a gap of at least two hours is recommended
  • If you are unable to swallow capsules, the contents can be opened and mixed with a cool drink or meal
  • It is highly recommended to continue taking live cultures following a course of antibiotic medication

References

  1. Mcfarland L V. Epidemiology, Risk Factors and Treatments for Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea Antibiotic complications Antibiotic-associated diarrhea Clostridium difficile Epidemiology Diarrhea, risk factors. 1998;98102:292-307. http://www.karger.com.
  2. Yoon MY, Yoon SS. Disruption of the gut ecosystem by antibiotics. Yonsei Med J. 2018;59(1):4-12. doi:10.3349/ymj.2018.59.1.4
  3. Nagulesapillai V. Detection and Quantification of Strain Specific Probiotics in Clinical Fecal Samples of Healthy Adults on Antibiotic Treatment by Quantitative PCR. Poster presentation. 2015;1(1).

This FAQ has been answered by Helen Morton, Nutritional Therapist DipION