Probiotics have only been around for the past few decades but have garnered a lot of attention in a short period of time. Many people are fascinated with the idea that consuming bacteria is actually good for you. The reason is because your body requires “good bacteria” to survive and help fight off “bad bacteria” that can cause infections and other problems. For example, you have bacteria covering your skin. Though you may not be able to see it, it is constantly working to fight off bacteria that may cause skin infections. This idea is also true for bacteria in the stomach. For example, when you take an antibiotic, bad bacteria is destroyed to heal the infection. However, good bacteria is often destroyed by the antibiotic as well. Probiotics can replace the good bacteria in your gut and can help prevent further complications.
WHAT DO I USE PROBIOTICS FOR?
As mentioned, probiotics can be used while taking antibiotics. Specifically, probiotics help prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea. When taking probiotics and antibiotics together, it is important to take the probiotic at least 2 hours after the antibiotic so the antibiotic does not destroy the probiotic along with the bad bacteria it is intended to destroy. Start taking a probiotic the same day you start an antibiotic and continue taking a probiotic for seven days after you complete the course of the antibiotic. Probiotics are also used for a variety of other common conditions including:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- General stomach health
- Prevention of gas and cramping
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
Probiotics are live bacteria and can be found in some foods including yogurt and chocolate. The label of the food product will indicate that it contains probiotics. The scientific names for the specific types are bacteria are Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces. Probiotics are treated like a food and therefore are not regulated as closely as prescription drugs. It is important to read the label on any supplement or food containing a probiotic.
Side effects of probiotics can include bloating or flatulence soon after starting the probiotic, but this is usually temporary. Patients with weakened immune systems (patients with autoimmune diseases, patients taking high doses of steroids) and pregnant patients should not take probiotics. Ask your Bremo pharmacist if a probiotic is right for you.
Learn from the pharmacy experts about probiotics at:
THE BREMO WAY
Bremo Pharmacy carries many probiotics, each with its own key features:
- Helps your digestive system work better
- Helps reduce occasional digestive upset
- Helps with occasional diarrhea
- Helps with gas and bloating
- Supports your immune system
- Helps support kids’ immune systems
- Helps reduce occasional digestive upset including diarrhea
- Helps keep kids healthy
- Dairy-free, gluten-free, and sugar-free
Sunmark probiotic pearls
- Helps to support and maintain gastrointestinal health
- Delivery system helps protect active cultures
Promend (4 billion active cultures)
- Restores digestive balance
- Promotes digestive and immune health
- Lactose-free, dairy-free
- Boosts natural immune response
- Strengthens digestive balance
- Supports your active lifestyle
- Gluten-free, vegetarian, appropriate for lactose intolerance
Acidophilus probiotic blend
- Maintains healthy intestinal flora
We can include OTC products, including probiotics, in your monthly sync medications. To join or learn more about our sync program, please visit:
If you are travelling, we can provide extensive travel services to prepare you for your trip. Do not forget to get a prescription for an antibiotic if you are at risk of traveler’s diarrhea. You may want to also purchase a probiotic to lessen the severity or likelihood of diarrhea. Learn more about our travel services at:
Prepared by Adam Foster, PharmD