Side effects to taking acidophilus

Acidophilus is a bacteria that lives in the body, mostly in the intestines and vagina. It can prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and is used to prevent yeast infections, antibiotic related diarrhoea and urinary tract infections. Also known as Lactobacillus acidophilus, there aren't a lot of known side effects unless you are allergic to it.


Acidophilus is available in health food stores, drugstores, supermarkets, through the mail and on the Internet. It's available as capsules, tablets, suppositories, douches, powders or liquids. Dairy products such as yoghurt and foods such as sauerkraut contain acidophilus. Other drugs, including vitamins, minerals, herbal supplements, prescription medicine and over-the-counter medications could interact with acidophilus. You should talk to your doctor before taking acidophilus.


Some companies may produce acidophilus that could contain other drugs or toxins. While most sources of acidophilus seem safe and have few side effects, you should always buy yours from a trusted supplier to avoid risks and talk to your doctor if you have allergies, take other medications or supplements, are pregnant or nursing or have other medical conditions. Always use acidophilus according to package instructions or your doctor's advice.

Side Effects

The most common side effects experienced by people who use acidophilus are gas, flatulence and stomach discomfort. This usually only occurs the first day or 2 after you begin taking acidophilus. Some people have flu-like symptoms for a short time, including fever and nausea, and some experience bloating or diarrhoea. Women who use acidophilus vaginally may feel burning or itching in the vagina.

Serious Side Effects

Allergies to acidophilus produce serious side effects. Go to the emergency room if you become dizzy, have itching, rashes or hives or experience difficulty breathing and swelling of the lips, throat, tongue or face. If your immune system is weak or you have an illness that makes it easy for you to get infections, you could develop a serious infection by using acidophilus.


Most people take acidophilus without having to worry about complications or side effects. Using acidophilus can help balance the good bacteria in your system by preventing the growth of harmful bacteria. This prevents development of annoying yeast infections and urinary tract infections. But you should have a doctor test the level of bacteria in your system and help you decide what amount of acidophilus would benefit your system.

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About the Author

Cathryn Whitehead graduated from the University of Michigan in 1987. She has published numerous articles for various websites. Her poems have been published in several anthologies and on Whitehead has done extensive research on health conditions and has a background in education, household management, music and child development.