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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Can "Anti" And "Pro" Co-exist?

What I'm referring to here is of course, antibiotics and probiotics.

My wife is now slightly over her 1st trimester of her pregnancy. Towards the end of the 1st trimester and the beginning of her 2nd trimester, she noticed some spotting (bleeding). Naturally we got worried because in all her previous pregnancies, she spotted and had to be bed rested. We thank God that this time around, throughout the 1st trimester she did not really experience any spotting.

We decided to go see her doctor, and through ultrasound scan, the doctor said that she has some infection, which is one of the common causes of spotting during the 2nd and 3rd trimester. Her advice was to take a very mild but effective antibiotic. She also asked my wife to take probiotic together not only because it will prevent the growth of bad bacteria, it will also help in reducing the side effects of the antibiotic. She instructed that my wife should take the antibiotic in the morning and night and the probiotic in the afternoon.

So, my wife, being the very cautious person she is, asked me to go online to confirm if it is ok to take antibiotic and probiotic together.

What I learn is as below:-

1. You can take antibiotic and probiotic together, just don't take them at the same time within a day. One website that I read recommended taking probiotic 2 hours after taking the antibiotic, and another website recommended taking probiotic 4 hours after taking the antibiotic. Either case I think it's quite safe.

2. Taking antibiotic and probiotic at the same time will render the probiotic ineffective as the antibiotic will kill ALL bacteria indiscriminately.

3. Taking probiotic when you take antibiotic is essential because after killing all the bacteria, you need to populate your gut with good bacteria, otherwise the bad (pathogenic) bacteria will grow. By taking probiotic during antibiotic therapy helps to keep the intestine flora in proper balance. It'll also help to minimize the destructive effects of antibiotics to the bacterial flora. Some even advice to increase your probiotic intake 2 or 3 times the normal amount for about 10 days after the antibiotic treatment is completed. However I'm not very sure if this is adviceable for pregnant mothers, you can always check with your healthcare provider.

4. Probiotics are food and are good for pregnant mothers and their growing babies.

5. We do need a little bit of bad (pathogenic) bacteria in our body. According to one website. The ratio of good to bad bacteria should be about 85:15.

The above are some of my findings regarding to this topic. In any case, my question has been answered. Please read the following articles for more information on probiotics and antibiotics.

1. Probiotics And Antibiotics

2. Probiotics And Pregnancy - What You Should Know (Part 1)

3. Probiotics And Pregnancy - What You Should Know (Part 2)



celle said...

If any boby slightly over her 1st trimester of her pregnancy, Menstrual blood stem cells - from the womb lining shed during a woman's period,have the advantages of being easily harvested in a painless, non-invasive manner as compared to some other stem cell sources.

Menstrual blood

Scott said...

The time of taking probiotics when currently into antibiotics is really interesting. I've been also wondering what's the most effective time of taking the two without them canceling each other. I also did my research and just like what you found out, it's not that consistent (some say 2 hours after antibiotic, some say 4 hours after). I guess the strength of the antibiotic is also a factor, and that probiotic yogurt or kefir is probably not going to reduce the side effects.

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