Researchers at the Hammersmith Hospital in London, England, reviewed 9 trials carried out to study the benefits of probiotics in the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
In all 9 trials, the probiotics were given in combination with antibiotics, and the control groups received placebo and antibiotics.
|Probiotics that prevent diarrhea:|
- S. boulardii
- 3 Lactobacillus strains
| British Medical Journal |
They found that probiotics are useful in preventing antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
In particular, the yeast Saccharomyces boulardii and 3 strains of Lactobacillus have the potential to be used in this situation.
Commercially available strains are being marketed in capsules and yogurt-based drinks.
However, these were not tested in the above trials and their potential benefit needs further investigation, say the authors.
A large trial looking at the efficacy of probiotics in preventing antibiotic-associated diarrhea, particularly in elderly patients, with an emphasis on the optimal dose and cost benefits is needed, they conclude.