Pre, Pro, Synbiotics

Should all hospital patients receive a probiotic?

Maybe, based on these study results.

First, the details.

  • 89 hospitalized patients were randomly assigned to receive lactobacilli-fermented milk or a placebo each day.
  • Patients and researchers were not aware of the treatment given (blinded).

And, the results.

  • Antibiotic-associated diarrhea occurred in significantly fewer of the lactobacilli-treated patients than the placebo group — 16% vs 36%.
  • The median hospital stay was not significantly different — 8 vs 10 days.
  • Overall, the lactobacilli-fermented milk was well tolerated.

The bottom line?
The authors concluded, “Daily administration of a lactobacilli-fermented milk was safe and effective in the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea in hospitalized patients.”

OK, but I think that more study in larger populations and evidence of an economic benefit will be needed to make this treatment routine.

12/27/07 14:50 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.