Did you accidentally take a probiotic with an antibiotic? (3 concerns)

In this brief guide, we are going to tell you, why you should worry or not If you accidentally took a probiotic with an antibiotic, and if there´s a best time for consuming a probiotic when you are under antibiotic treatment.

What If you accidentally took a probiotic with an antibiotic?

If you accidentally took a probiotic with an antibiotic you shouldn´t worry, it might be a happy accident, the consumption of probiotics while taking antibiotics has proved to help restore de balance of your gut microbiota(1).

When you are taking antibiotics, most of the bacteria that reside in your gut are being affected(2),  and so it could be for the probiotics that you consume, nevertheless, that doesn´t mean you shouldn´t take probiotics alongside antibiotics, all the more so, it´s like giving a little help to your gut and your health(3).

Is safe to consume probiotics and antibiotics together?

Consuming probiotics and antibiotics together doesn´t represent a risk, however, you must remember that probiotics are safe for consumption in most cases(4), while the antibiotic is a controlled drug that must be taken as prescribed by the health professional(5).

Unless the person that wants to take a probiotic has a compromised immune system, is a low-weight preterm infant, or has critical health issues, the consumption of probiotics shouldn´t be a concern(6), otherwise, health professional advice is required.

Do probiotics affect the efficacy of antibiotics?

Probiotic consumption doesn’t affect the efficacy of the antibiotic, the main concern may be reducing the effect of the probiotics, nonetheless, this statement relies on the type of probiotic that is consumed, the effectiveness depends on the strain consumed and the antibiotic administered(7,8).

Is there a benefit of using probiotics on antibiotic treatment?

Using probiotics when you are on antibiotic treatment, would be beneficial for your health, It has been demonstrated that the consumption of both may help to restore an unbalanced gut microbiota, that becomes a consequence of taking antibiotics(9).

Most probiotics are bacteria, and so, susceptible to antibiotics, but specific bacteria like Lactobacillus has shown good results when administered with antibiotics, mostly in reducing the recurrence of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, which is a common concern after antibiotic treatment(10). 

Is there a best time for taking a probiotic, when using antibiotics?

There´s no clear consensus on the best time for consuming probiotics, most of the recommendations rely on assumptions based on biological and biochemical functions, establishing two, four, or six hours after antibiotic intake or 4 hours between intakes(11), but if you find this recommendation difficult, take both together.

However, more than focusing on the time of consumption, focus on the type of probiotic, if it has proven efficacy when administered with antibiotics, like Lactobacillus, or if it´s not even a bacteria, maybe a yeast, like Saccharomyces boulardii (8), so antibiotic may not affect the yeast, and also what concentration of the probiotic is necessary to exert a health benefit ( 1×109 CFU)(12).

If you want to know more about probiotics, you can visit What are probiotcs?


In this brief guide, we answer what would happen if you accidentally took probiotics with antibiotics. Also, we analyzed some concerning questions, about consumption, efficacy, and if there´s a best timing for probiotic consumption when taking antibiotics.

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