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Can probiotic yogurt prevent diarrhoea in children on antibiotics? A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled study


Fox, MJ and Ahuja, KDK and Robertson, IK and Ball, MJ and Eri, RD, Can probiotic yogurt prevent diarrhoea in children on antibiotics? A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled study, BMJ, 5, (1) Article e006474. ISSN 1756-1833 (2015) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006474


Objective: To estimate the efficacy of a probiotic yogurt compared to a pasteurised yogurt for the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea in children.

Design and setting: This was a multisite, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial conducted between September 2009 and 2012. The study was conducted through general practices and pharmacies in Launceston, Tasmania, Australia.

Participants and interventions: Children (aged 112 years) prescribed antibiotics, were randomised to receive 200 g/day of either yogurt (probiotic) containing lactis (Bb-12) and Lactobacillus acidophilus (La-5) or a pasteurised yogurt (placebo) for the same duration as their antibiotic treatment.

Outcomes: Stool frequency and consistency were recorded for the duration of treatment plus 1 week. Primary outcome was stool frequency and consistency, classified at different levels of diarrhoea severity. Due to the small number of cases of diarrhoea, comparisons between groups were made using Fisher's exact analysis.

Results: 72 children commenced and 70 children (36 placebo and 34 probiotic) completed the trial. There were no incidents of severe diarrhoea (stool consistency ≥ 6, ≥ 3 stools/day for ≥ 2 consecutive days) in the probiotic group and six in the placebo group (Fisher's exact p = 0.025). There was also only one episode of minor diarrhoea (stool consistency ≥ 5, ≥ 2 stools/day for ≥ 2 days in the probiotic group compared to 21 in the placebo group (Fisher's exact p < 0.001). The probiotic group reported fewer adverse events (1 had abdominal pain, 1 vomited and 1 had headache) than the placebo group (6 had abdominal pain, 4 had loss of appetite and 1 had nausea).

Conclusions: A yogurt combination of LGG, La-5 and Bb-12 is an effective method for reducing the incidence of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea in children.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:probiotics, antibiotic induced diarrhoea, children
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Clinical sciences
Research Field:Gastroenterology and hepatology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Fox, MJ (Dr Michael Fox)
UTAS Author:Ahuja, KDK (Dr Kiran Ahuja)
UTAS Author:Robertson, IK (Dr Iain Robertson)
UTAS Author:Ball, MJ (Professor Madeleine Ball)
UTAS Author:Eri, RD (Associate Professor Raj Eri)
ID Code:97874
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:50
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2015-01-19
Last Modified:2017-11-01
Downloads:586 View Download Statistics

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