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How do probiotics interact with other over-the-counter drugs?

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Quick Answer

Probiotics do not have known interactions with over-the-counter medications, but they have interactions with prescription antibiotics and immunosuppressants, according to WebMD. Individuals can usually take both, but doses must be spread out with several hours between them.

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How do probiotics interact with other over-the-counter drugs?
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Full Answer

In addition to killing harmful bacteria in the body, antibiotics also kill friendly bacteria, which is what probiotics are, as explained by WebMD. Taking antibiotics and probiotics at the same time decreases the effectiveness of the probiotics. People can still take both of these together, but experts recommend taking probiotics at least two hours before or after taking the antibiotics.

Immunosuppressants decrease the effects of the immune system, as claimed by WebMD; however, probiotics contain both yeast and bacteria that can technically make a person sick. When a person takes immunosuppressants along with probiotics, the immune system cannot keep the yeast and bacteria in check, and the person has a greater chance of becoming ill when taking probiotics. Some of the medications that suppress the immune system include corticosteroids, prednisone and cyclosporine.

Probiotics do not have many side effects except gas and bloating, and they are likely safe for both adults and children, states WebMD. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should speak to a doctor before taking probiotics.

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