Slideshows Images Quizzes

Lactobacillus

font size

How does Lactobacillus work?

Many bacteria and other organisms live in our bodies normally. "Friendly" bacteria such as Lactobacillus can help us break down food, absorb nutrients, and fight off "unfriendly" organisms that might cause diseases such as diarrhea.

Are there safety concerns?

Lactobacillus is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth appropriately. Side effects are usually mild and most often include intestinal gas or bloating.

Lactobacillus is also LIKELY SAFE for women to use inside the vagina.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Children: Lactobacillus is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth appropriately in children. Lactobacillus GG, a specific strain of Lactobacillus rhamnosus, has been used safely from five days to 15 months.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Lactobacillus is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth appropriately while pregnant and breastfeeding. Lactobacillus GG has been used safely in pregnant and breast-feeding women. The combinations of Lactobacillus rhamnosus or Lactobacillus paracasei with Bifidobacterium longum from 2 months before delivery until the breastfed infant was 2 months has been used safely. But other types of lactobacillus have not been studied during pregnancy and breast-feeding, so their safety is unknown.

Digestive surgery: There is some concern that eating a yogurt containing Lactobacillus might cause a bacterial infection following a colonoscopy. Stop taking probiotics before a digestive surgery or colonoscopy.

Weakened immune system: There is some concern that lactobacillus from supplements that contain live bacteria might grow too well in people whose immune systems are weakened. This includes people with HIV/AIDS or people who have taken medicines to prevent rejection of a transplanted organ. Lactobacillus has caused disease (rarely) in people with weakened immune systems. To be on the safe side, if you have a weakened immune system, talk with your healthcare provider before taking lactobacillus.

Short bowel syndrome: People with short bowel syndrome might be more likely than other people to develop lactobacillus infections. If you have this condition, talk with your healthcare provider before taking lactobacillus.


Therapeutic Research Faculty copyright

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


GI Disorders

Get the latest treatment options.

Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors