Feasibility and tolerability of probiotics for prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea in hospitalized US military veterans

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Abstract

Background

Probiotics may be efficacious for the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea. The tolerability and acceptability of probiotics in an elderly US veteran population has not been assessed.

Purpose

To undertake a randomized trial to determine the tolerability and acceptability of a probiotic, Florajen® in an elderly population with multiple comorbidities.

Methods

Pilot randomized double-blind trial comparing a probiotic, Florajen® to placebo for the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea in elderly hospitalized patients receiving antibiotics.

Results

Forty patients were enrolled and randomized. Antibiotic-associated diarrhoea occurred in 6/16 (37%) in the placebo group and 4/23 (17%) patients in the Florajen® group, (RR 1·63, 95% CI 0·73–3·65, P = 0·15). Florajen® was well tolerated in the study population with no major side effects that necessitated discontinuation.

Conclusions

In this pilot study, Florajen® was well tolerated in an elderly population, all of whom were taking several other medications. A larger study is needed to determine the effect of Florajen® on antibiotic-associated diarrhoea and Clostridium difficile infection.

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