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Probiotics, sometimes referred to as live cultures, can be taken in almost any circumstances and by all ages. More information can be found in our frequently asked questions section. However, there are a very small number of circumstances when we recommend that they are NOT taken without a discussion with your doctor first, as they may be contraindicated with either a medical condition or another drug.
In this article we will look at: medical conditions that preclude the use of live cultures and also medicines and natural supplements that require special consideration when taken alongside probiotics.
A contraindication is a specific situation (or medical condition) in which a drug, supplement, procedure, or even surgery should not be used because it may be harmful to the patient.
Live cultures are not recommended for those with serious medical conditions, e.g. those who are severely immunosuppressed, have pancreatitis, are in the ICU, have melaena (dark blood in their stool), have a central venous catheter, infants with short bowel syndrome, or to patients with open wounds following major surgery; unless under a doctor's care. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should also consult their doctor before taking certain live cultures.
However, these medical circumstances have only been highlighted as there is limited research on how live cultures react with them, not because of known side effects. It is therefore recommended that live cultures are not taken in these circumstances unless with the advice of a doctor. We also suggest you contact providers directly for guidance on their individual products.
There are no known contraindications with medical drugs or other supplements, however there are some considerations which should be kept in mind when taking live cultures with certain medications or supplements:
Healthcare practitioners may like to visit our sister site, Probiotic Professionals, for further information on the following: