Probiotics and the Treatment of Infectious Diarrhea

Jonathan E. Teitelbaum, MD


Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2005;24(3):267-268. 

In This Article

Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea

A metaanalysis of studies involving probiotic administration to prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea found a strong benefit.[6] The studies support the role of various probiotics such as Lactobacillus GG, Saccharomyces boulardii , E faecium , Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaris coadministered with a variety of antibiotics. A study of 16 healthy volunteers taking erythromycin for 1 week found that coadministration of LGG yogurt not only reduced the number of days with diarrhea from 8 to 2 but also decreased associated side effects such as abdominal pain from 39% to 23%.[7] In a large pediatric study, 188 children taking a 10-day course of antibiotics were enrolled in a double blind placebo-controlled study with LGG. In the LGG group, the incidence of diarrhea decreased from 26% to 8%, and the duration of diarrhea decreased from 5.88 days to 4.7 days. Furthermore the consistency of the stool, based on a visual score, was looser in the placebo group.[8]