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Side Effects of Probiotic Acidophilus

By James Highland

Probiotic bacteria occur naturally inside the body and help the digestive and immune systems. These bacteria go by many names, including acidophilus. The probiotic acidophilus is most commonly found in yogurt cultures. It is also sold as an over-the-counter supplement. While there are positive benefits to these supplements, the side effects should also be noted.


One of the most common side effects of acidophilus is discomfort in the digestive tract. This pain may present as gas, bloating or cramps. Smaller doses can be taken to minimize this side effect. However the pain is known to gradually subside with habituation use of the supplement. Pain can also be experienced in women who use acidophilus as vaginal tablets. This side effect presents as a burning sensation.


The Mayo Clinic reports that heart valve infection is a rare but serious side effect of acidophilus. Individuals with artificial heart valves may have increased chances of the complication. Additional infections may occur in the blood for acidophilus users with poor immune systems. This would include chemotherapy patients and those with recent organ transplants.

Vitamin Production

According to Truestar Health, the use of acidophilus may produce other vitamins in the body. This side effect is not necessarily negative unless the user has conditions affected by these vitamins. The B vitamin group contains folic acid, vitamin B6, niacin and biotin. Levels of all these vitamins may increase with use of acidophilus.

Drug Interaction

Some medications are affected by the use of acidophilus. The side-effects can be negative, or they may require additional doses of acidophilus for the bacteria to be effective. Included in these medications are the penicillin family of antibiotics, including azithromycin and amoxicillin. It is recommended that you consult a pharmacist before mixing acidophilus with any prescription medication.

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