Doxycycline is an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections including chest infections, skin infections, dental infections, malaria prevention, and sexually transmitted infections (among others).
It is, in essence, an antibiotic designed to kill pathogenic bacteria that cause bacterial infection throughout the body. However, it can also have a negative impact on your gut health. The issue with antibiotics is that, while effective at killing pathogenic bacteria that cause infections to spread around the body, they also kill all of the good bacteria in your gut, which can have an impact on your gut health and your immune system.
Remember, 70% of your immune system lives in the gut – when the gut isn’t healthy, your immune system can’t do its job. That’s why an increasing number of people are choosing to take probiotics to help maintain their gut health and immune system health, particularly people who have a history of taking multiple doses of doxycycline - or other antibiotics.
Probiotics can help to manage gut microbiome destruction caused by these medicines, protecting your gut health and immune system. Wondering what exactly probiotics do to aid gut health and your immune system? In order to stay healthy, you need good bacteria in your gut - especially in your colon - to help break down nutrients that haven’t yet been digested.
Taking probiotics on a regular basis can help to improve and boost your digestive system and overall health. It’s perfectly fine to take probiotics after you’ve finished taking an antibiotic like Doxycycline to help rebalance the good bacteria in your gut. But can you take probiotics during a course of Doxycycline?
Below are some frequently asked questions relating to whether it's safe to use probiotics alongside an antibiotic like Doxycycline.
Can you take doxycycline and probiotics together?
Research has suggested that it’s safe to take an antibiotic like Doxycycline with certain probiotics. The reason why only certain types of probiotics tend to work well is simply that some forms of probiotics don’t seem to reach the gut alive when taken with antibiotics. So it will never do you harm but some probiotic strains might not be as effective.
However, there are two strains of probiotics in particular, that when taken alongside antibiotics like Doxycycline, have been found to reach the gut alive. These are Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus rhamnosus – and lucky for you, studies have shown that they are safe to take at the same time as antibiotics like Doxycycline.
Medical research does not suggest that probiotics interfere with the success rate of antibiotics like Doxycycline. In fact, many doctors have now begun recommending the use of probiotics to patients taking antibiotics, to help prevent certain side effects from occurring. Many doctors recommend the use of probiotic supplements as well as probiotic foods, such as yogurts and kefir, to be taken alongside antibiotics. If you’re supplementing with probiotic enriched foods, remember to watch that sugar content (seriously, have you looked at your yogurt label recently?).
What type of bacteria does doxycycline kill?
Doxycycline is designed to be a broad-spectrum tetracycline-class antibiotic, that is used to treat infections caused by the bacteria of various parasites. It can successfully be used to treat bacterial infections such as pneumonia, chlamydia, cholera, typhus, syphilis, and acne. What a range.
Does doxycycline kill good bacteria?
Doxycycline is designed to be active against a wide scope of bacteria types, this includes some negative and some positive bacteria, anaerobes, and certain parasites. Like all antibiotics, Doxycycline can throw your gut health out of whack, which is why such a wide number of people are now choosing to supplement their diets with probiotics while taking antibiotics, in a bid to ‘balance things out’.
Probiotics and doxycycline usage while treating acne
Doxycycline can be used to treat moderate to severe acne that has not got better with the use of other acne treatments. Doxycycline works to help manage acne by controlling bacteria growth. Although acne is not an infection, antibiotics like Doxycycline can help to control and clear breakouts by reducing the amount of acne-causing bacteria located on the skin.
Doxycycline is also used to reduce the inflammation caused by acne, which helps to improve the red acne bumps and acne cysts. It can be highly effective when taken in the correct doses.
Just like when taking Doxycycline for an infection, it’s safe to take probiotics with Doxycycline when it’s being used to treat acne. However, it’s important to be selective about the type of probiotics taken and to always consult your doctor if you’re unsure about taking a certain probiotic.
What is the best probiotic to take with doxycycline?
We already shared two types of probiotics that are best to take with Doxycycline – Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus rhamnosus – which are safe and effective when taking at the same time as antibiotics like Doxycycline.
But as a rule of thumb, to get the most out of a probiotic, its strains within should be diverse and actively alive. If you’re not taking active probiotics, you aren’t going to see results or benefit from them. That’s what we call a big waste of time and money.
Some strains need to be taken at least two hours before or after taking antibiotics to be successful. Otherwise, these strains may not reach the gut alive, and therefore will lack any benefit.
It’s safe to take probiotics during a course of antibiotics like Doxycycline instead of waiting until after you’ve finished your course of antibiotics. But while some probiotics and live cultures can be taken at the exact same time as antibiotics, others must be taken at least two hours afterward.
When it comes to taking any medications, it’s always important to follow the advice given by your doctor. If you’re unsure about taking probiotics with your antibiotic strain, always give your doctor a call for advice.