Antibiotic-induced D-lactic acidosis

Ann Intern Med. 1995 Jun 1;122(11):839-42. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-122-11-199506010-00005.


Objective: To describe a case of oral antibiotic-induced D-lactic acidosis in a patient with enteric overgrowth of Lactobacillus acidophilus.

Design: Single case study.

Setting: University-affiliated community hospital.

Intervention: Oral carbohydrate challenge test with 4000 kcal/d.

Main results: A patient had several episodes of D-lactic acidosis after receiving oral antibiotics. Stool cultures yielded Lactobacillus acidophilus resistant to the implicated agents. Provocative challenge with dietary carbohydrate alone, in the absence of antibiotics, failed to reproduce the syndrome.

Conclusions: Oral antibiotics may induce D-lactic acidosis in patients with the short-bowel syndrome by promoting the overgrowth of resistant D-lactate-producing organisms. Interactions between carbohydrate intake and antibiotic use are likely determinants in the development of this syndrome. Periodic use of stool cultures with antimicrobial susceptibility testing may assist in the management of these patients by optimizing the selection of antimicrobial agents.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acidosis, Lactic / chemically induced*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects*
  • Doxycycline / adverse effects
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus / drug effects
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus / growth & development
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Short Bowel Syndrome / complications
  • Short Bowel Syndrome / microbiology
  • Trimethoprim, Sulfamethoxazole Drug Combination / adverse effects
  • Trimethoprim, Sulfamethoxazole Drug Combination / pharmacology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Trimethoprim, Sulfamethoxazole Drug Combination
  • Doxycycline