Patients who are treated with antibiotics frequently get antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD). In fact, more than 1/3 of patients taking antibiotics develop AAD. In 17% of cases AAD is fatal (usually from pseudomembranous colitis). AAD can have several different pathogens like Clostridium difficile or Klebisella or Staph aureus causing GI symptoms. (FYI C. diff costs the US healthcare system $1.3 billion yearly).
Probiotics replenish the natural GI flora with nonpathogenic (meaning not-bad) organisms. Probiotics are considered food supplements, not medicines, so health insurance most likely will not reimburse. Most probiotics use combinations of Lactobacillus species which are found in over-the-counter antidiarrheal probiotic supplements. There is no standard dose and should be taken one to three times daily. The patient may consider staying on the probiotic for 1 to 3 weeks, or as long as the patient continues to take antibiotics.
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