Is Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG effective in preventing the onset of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea: a systematic review

Digestion. 2005;72(1):51-6. doi: 10.1159/000087637. Epub 2005 Aug 18.


Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG in the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea.

Data sources: A computer-based search of MEDLINE, CINAHL, AMED, the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews was conducted. A hand-search of the bibliographies of relevant papers and previous meta-analyses was undertaken.

Review methods: Trials were included in the review if they compared the effects of L. rhamnosus GG and placebo and listed diarrhoea as a primary end-point. Studies were excluded if they were not placebo-controlled or utilised other probiotic strains.

Results: Six trials were found that met all eligibility requirements. Significant statistical heterogeneity of the trials precluded meta-analysis. Four of the six trials found a significant reduction in the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea with co-administration of Lactobacillus GG. One of the trials found a reduced number of days with antibiotic-induced diarrhoea with Lactobacillus GG administration, whilst the final trial found no benefit of Lactobacillus GG supplementation.

Conclusion: Additional research is needed to further clarify the effectiveness of Lactobacillus GG in the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Diarrhea / chemically induced*
  • Diarrhea / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus*
  • Probiotics*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents