Purpose: Probiotics are live microorganisms that offer a health benefit to the host. Found typically in dietary supplements, probiotics can be safely used in the treatment of acute diarrheal disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and antibiotic-associated diarrhea. They can be found in milks, yogurt, powders, and pills.
Conclusions: Research has shown that several strains of probiotics are helpful in the prevention and treatment of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. The most commonly studied probiotics are Lactobacillus GG and Saccharomyces boulardii.
Practice implications: By understanding the uses, dosages, and safety of common probiotics, nurses can help educate patients and their families on the benefits of probiotics.