Taking friendly bacteria with antibiotics

Are you taking antibiotics, or have you just finished a course of antibiotic treatment? Then you’ve come to right place! We have everything your gut needs to bounce right back.

Taking live cultures with antibiotics

There’s a lot of confusion over whether it’s okay to take live cultures when you are taking antibiotic medication; however, be reassured, this is probably one of the best times to take them!

These products are the most popular choices from our range:

  • For Those On Antibiotics is a specially formulated product designed for anyone over the age of 1 year who is currently taking a course of antibiotics. We recommend taking this supplement with food, ideally breakfast, even if this is when you take your antibiotics. Unlike other live cultures supplements, which might be affected by this strong medication, the strains in For Those On Antibiotics are fine to take at the same time as your medication.
  • Every Day EXTRA is a powerful, high-strength supplement which has also been trialled alongside and after antibiotics. It contains the world-renowned strains Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM® and Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07®. This supplement can be taken with your medication, but due to the delicate nature of the strains it contains, it needs to be taken 2 hours away from the medication. But it’s a very popular choice to take for a month or two following your course of treatment.

Friendly bacteria: your questions answered

Still confused? Let us answer some of your most common concerns about taking live cultures with antibiotics:

Should you take probiotics while on antibiotics?

Absolutely! In fact, many people find it much easier to take their antibiotic medication when they take live cultures at the same time.

Which friendly bacteria supplements are best to take with antibiotics?

It’s best to choose supplements containing strains such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus Rosell-11, Lactobacillus acidophilus/helveticus Rosell-52 and Bifidobacterium lactis Lafti B94, which have been clinically trialled alongside antibiotics and found to reach the gut alive(1,2,3).

These strains can be found in our specific product, For Those On Antibiotics.

You can also choose to continue with your usual live cultures supplement, but this would typically need to be taken 2 hours away from your medication.

I’ve finished my course of antibiotics – do I still need to take live cultures?

It is down to personal choice, but it is highly recommended to continue taking live cultures for at least a month following a course of antibiotic medication.

You can either continue to take For Those On Antibiotics if this is easier, but the most popular option is to swap to our Every Day EXTRA. This supplement contains strains such as Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM® and Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07®, which have been clinically trialled for use after a course of antibiotics(4). This powerful supplement is just what your digestive system needs to complement and harmonise the gut microbiome after antibiotics.

If you usually take another daily product, such as Every Day or Gut Health Gummies, then you can return to taking this if preferred. However, many people find their gut needs a bit more love at this time, so they opt to take a higher strength supplement for a month or two before returning to their favourite daily product.

When should I take live cultures with antibiotics?

Live cultures are best taken with food, ideally breakfast, when stomach acidity is closer to neutral. If you’re taking Optibac For Those On Antibiotics, these strains are hardy against the effects of antibiotics(1) so you can take them with breakfast regardless of when you’re taking your medication. Taking these specific live cultures makes life easy - other live cultures supplements need to be taken at least two hours away from the medication.

Which are the best live cultures for children taking antibiotics?

If your child is taking antibiotics and you’d like them to take live cultures, then you have a couple of different options from our range:

  • If your child is over four years of age, you can choose to give them the specially designed For Those on Antibiotics. This can be the easiest option, as you can simply give the supplement with breakfast, regardless of when your child is taking the medication.
  • Younger children taking antibiotics can be given our Babies & Children, which is safe for all ages from birth onwards. This supplement contains the acclaimed Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, which has been widely researched in children taking antibiotics(5,6).
  • Children over 4 years of age can take Every Day EXTRA if you feel a higher strength supplement is appropriate.
  • Once the antibiotics have been completed, we recommend taking one of our children’s products for at least a couple of months following the course. 

Not sure which supplement is best for you?

Contact our team of experts for free advice


1. Nagulesapillai, V. 2015. Detection and Quantification of Strain Specific Probiotics in Clinical Fecal Samples of Healthy Adults on Antibiotic Treatment by Quantitative PCR. Poster presentation. Lallemand Health Solutions.

2. Evans M. et al., (2016), ‘Effectiveness of Lactobacillus helveticus and Lactobacillus rhamnosus for the management of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea in healthy adults: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial’. British Journal of Nutrition, 116(1):94-103. doi: 10.1017/S0007114516001665. Epub 2016 May 12.

3. Çekin AH, Şahintürk Y, Akbay Harmandar F, Uyar S, Yolcular BO, Çekin Y. Use of probiotics as an adjuvant to sequential H. pylori eradication therapy: impact on eradication rates, treatment resistance, treatment-related side effects, and patient compliance. Turk J Gastroenterol. 2017 Jan;28(1):3-11. doi: 10.5152/tjg.2016.0278. Epub 2016 Dec 23. PMID: 28007678.

4. Engelbrektson, A.L .et al., (2009). ‘Probiotics to minimize the disruption of faecal microbiota in healthy subjects undergoing antibiotic therapy’. Journal of Medical Microbiology, 58:663-670.

5. Szajewska, H. and Kołodziej, M. (2015) ‘Systematic review with meta-analysis: Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG in the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea in children and adults’, Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 42(10). doi: 10.1111/apt.13404.

6. Esposito, C. et al. (2018) ‘Frequency of Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea and Related Complications in Pediatric Patients Who Underwent Hypospadias Repair: a Comparative Study Using Probiotics vs Placebo’, Probiotics and Antimicrobial Proteins, 10(2). doi: 10.1007/s12602-017-9324-4.