Antibiotics

A Few Examples Antibiotics are used for the treatment of infections caused by susceptible bacteria and for prevention of certain infections in people at high risk for infections. Antibiotics not only kil pathogenic bacteria ("bad" bacterica that cause disease) but also kill bacteria that are normally found in the intestines ("good" bacteria that aid in digestion) such as Bifidobacteria bifidum and Lactobacillus acidophilus. The reduction of "good" bacteria caused by antibiotics can result in diarrhea and a reduction in levels of B-vitamins produced by the "good" bacteria (when used long-term). Symptoms of B-vitamin deficiency may include weakhess, tiredness, and depression and may be associated with and increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Supplementation with probiotics ("good" bacteria products) has been shown to reduce the occurrence of antibiotic-related diarrhea.

Probiotic formulations of Lactobacillus acidophilus contain a variety of "strengths" that are measured in bacterial counts per capsule (expressed as colony forming units or CFUs). Doses of 1 to 2 billion CFUs per day have been suggested for use.

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about taking probiotics, especially if your are prescribed antibiotics, or take antibiotics regularly for the prevention of infections.