Acidophilus supplements can help you prevent the diarrhea and other digestive problems that are associated with antibiotic use, notes MedlinePlus. The intestines naturally contain some non-infectious bacteria. In addition to aiding in digestion, these bacteria help crowd out other, more harmful bacteria. When you take antibiotics, all of the different kinds of bacteria in your intestines are killed. This can upset your digestive tract and allow harmful bacteria to colonize. Acidophilus, also known as Lactobacillus acidophilus is one of these natural gut bacteria and can be used to replenish the healthy bacteria in your intestines after antibiotic use.
Take between 1 and 10 billion live or viable acidophilus bacteria each day in divided doses. Different supplements contain different amounts of these bacteria per dose, and a daily dose of between 1 and 10 billion bacteria is effective for most people, MayoClinic.com explains. Taking the supplements in divided doses can help prevent abdominal discomfort.
Take the acidophilus supplements separately from your antibiotics. If you take your antibiotic and acidophilus supplement at the same time, the antibiotic may kill the acidophilus bacteria, reducing the effectiveness of the supplement. For best results, take your supplement at least two hours before or after taking your antibiotic, MedlinePlus recommends.
Begin taking acidophilus supplements when you start your antibiotic and continue taking the supplement for at least one week after you stop antibiotic treatment. AskDrSears.com recommends this as it will replenish your intestinal bacteria as the antibiotic is metabolized and removed from your body.