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Probiotics May Reduce Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea

Antibiotic use can disturb the natural bacteria that every person has in their digestive tract and this can cause diarrhea in up to 30% of people.  The symptoms are usually mild, however, diarrhea can lead to premature discontinuation of the antibiotics, and occasionally, people can develop a serious life-threatening infection of the colon.  A recent article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reviewed the use of probiotics (beneficial microbes) to prevent and treat antibiotic-associated diarrhea.  This study reviewed the findings of 63 clinical trials and found that probiotic use may reduce the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea by up to 42%. The study could not determine the probiotic composition, dose, or dosing interval that is most effective, and more studies are needed.

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