Andrew Weil, M.D., recommends beginning probiotic treatment at the same time that an antibiotic prescription starts. Probiotics can be taken with food at breakfast and dinner, and they should not be discontinued until a few days after the round of antibiotics is complete. Weil advises using brands that contain billions of colony-forming units as well as the strains Bacillus coagulans (BC-30) or Lactobacillus GG.
NowFoods stresses the importance of protecting the integrity of living bacteria cultures by following the manufacturer's recommended storage instructions. Liquid probiotics must be stored in the fridge to keep them fresh, and it is recommended that capsules and tablets are treated the same way. If this is not possible, capsules and tablets should be stored in a cool, dry location away from heat and moisture. Probiotics are often sold with freshness packets to manage their exposure to damaging environmental effects. The potency of these supplements slowly declines at a rate of approximately 5 percent each month over the course of several months until they are finally rendered useless. Storing probiotics in the fridge helps to slow this rate of decline and prolongs their efficacy. For this reason, Weil advises people to remain aware of the expiration date on probiotics and to replace them if this date lapses.