How To Take Probiotics With Antibiotics


By Carla Oates

If you’ve visited your doctor recently and received a dose of antibiotics, it’s likely that they—or perhaps your pharmacist—recommended you also take a course of probiotics at the same time.

This is because while antibiotics are undoubtedly both necessary from time to time and life-saving—a course of antibiotics can also have a dramatic impact on our overall gut health, influencing the amount and diversity of bacteria in our gut and drastically disrupting our microbiome. There are also many different types of antibiotics—but in essence, they work to treat bacterial infections and stop them from spreading further. Trouble is, while ‘killing off’ harmful bacteria is a wonderful thing, antibiotic treatments are often also broad-spectrum, meaning they can act on a wide diversity of gut bacteria and also ‘wipe out’ some of the good microbes, too. In fact, research shows that just one week of antibiotics can potentially change the microbiome for as long as a year! Not only that, but as with any ‘drug’, there are also side effects and there is now very real attention being paid to the risks of antibiotic resistance which occurs when antibiotics are overused—as well as the effects of antibiotic use early on in life.

Therefore, to help protect and preserve our gastrointestinal health, a course of probiotics is now widely recommended. Curious to know more? Read on…

Your Guide To Taking Probiotics And Antibiotics At The Same Time

The most common question that is asked around this topic is whether you can take your probiotics and antibiotics at the same time. While the simple answer to this question is yes, the exact timings of when to swallow each need to be carefully considered. So, while you can consume both as a course over a period of a few days, weeks, or months (depending on what has been prescribed to you individually)—probiotics and antibiotics should be consumed at least two hours apart. This is because you want them both to be able to do their job efficiently—and if you consume them at the exact same moment, it can negate their positive effects. By swallowing your probiotic at the same time as your antibiotic, any potential good bacteria could effectively be wiped out by the antibiotic. Which, let’s be real, is not ideal.

The bottom line? To reap the benefits of both, always ensure you follow medical advice and take your antibiotics as recommended by your doctor before taking your probiotic at least two hours afterwards. 

Can I Take Any Probiotic?

If you’re into health, beauty and wellness—a probiotic or probiotic supplement such as The Beauty Chef’s GLOW Inner Beauty Essential may already be part of your daily routine. So if this is you, then certainly don’t let a bout of illness or a dose of antibiotics set you off course! Simply remember to time your probiotic correctly and continue on as usual. But if you’re new to the world of probiotics, then it’s important to consider your options as you want to consume a wide variety of species and strains.

While arguably taking ‘any’ probiotic while on antibiotics will boast benefits for your microbial health—at The Beauty Chef, we recommend our wholefood-based probiotic inner beauty powders and elixirs as unlike many over the counter supplements, our products are 100 percent natural and offer multiple, food-based strains. This means your body receives a broad-spectrum of healthy bacteria, which promotes microbial diversity and boosts overall digestive health. Our lacto-fermented formulas also contain prebiotics—which are arguably just as important for gut health—helping to feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut and encourage their proliferation. Due to our exclusive bio-fermentation process, Flora Culture™, our formulas are also more potent and bioavailable, meaning the nutrients they contain are more easily absorbed and assimilated by the body. 

What Are The Benefits Of Taking A Probiotic While On Antibiotics?

Aside from helping to maintain a balance and diversity of healthy bacteria in the gut—taking a probiotic supplement while on antibiotics also helps to reduce potential side effects. Some of the most common side effects of antibiotics, for example, are bloating and antiobiotic-associated diarrhoea (which is especially common in children). The good news is, however, that there are now many studies which confirm that taking a course of probiotics can help to reduce the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea by as much as 50 percent in children and can have equally positive effects in adults. There is also evidence to show how probiotic bacteria can restore gut microbiota health to its original state after a disruption such as a course of antibiotics.  

The beneficial effects of probiotics extend beyond remedying any potential adverse effects of antibiotic therapy, however—as studies show that the live bacteria that we consume (either via probiotic supplements or in fermented probiotic-rich foods like kimchisauerkrautmisokefir and tempeh) can support overall gut, skin, immune health and overall wellbeing. Probiotic species such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium and Saccharomyces boulardii, are just a few examples of probiotics that have been well-studied for their health benefits. Probiotics also have immunomodulatory effects—which, simply put, means that probiotics can positively affect us as their host by helping to regulate our immune system, bolster our mucosal immune cells and intestinal epithelial cells. When it comes to fighting off future pathogens and infections, this is therefore a very good thing! 

And as we know, with 70 percent of our immune system residing in our gut, whether we’re currently taking antibiotics, or not—supporting a healthy gut is key not only to maintaining optimal immunity, but overall health, beauty and wellness as well.

Get your daily dose of probiotics by adding The Beauty Chef’s range of inner beauty powders and elixirs to your daily routine!