Medicines & Supplements A to Z > Probiotics (Supplement)

Probiotics (Supplement)

Last updated on 18/03/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions   |   Tips   |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Probiotics 

CHINESE NAME: 益生菌

BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: Culturelle, Nature’s Beauty, Proven

DRUG CLASS: Microorganism

USED FOR: Dietary supplementation for gastrointestinal health 

OTHER DRUGS IN THE SAME CLASS: N/A

What are Probiotics for?

Probiotic supplements contain strains of good bacteria that exist in the body. They mainly include Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Bacillus, Enterococcus, Streptococcus and Saccharomyces. Probiotics can help defend against the overgrowth of bad bacteria in your body. A Probiotic supplement is usually taken to promote gastrointestinal health, as well as treating allergic conditions such as allergic rhinitis and eczema. Probiotics are commonly used to prevent disruption to your bowel flora while taking antibiotics. However, the effect of Probiotics on treating allergic rhinitis and eczema is still uncertain due to limited evidence.

How to use them?

Probiotic supplements are taken by mouth either in the form of tablets, liquids, capsules or powders (usually for babies and children). The usual dose for Probiotic supplements is 1-50 billion colony forming units (which refers to the number of viable bacterial cells). For specific dosages, refer to the product label.

What are the side effects of Probiotics?

The most common side effects of Probiotics are diarrhoea and gas production. Advise your doctor or pharmacist before taking Probiotics if you are immunocompromised since Probiotics could be harmful.

Who should not take Probiotics?

People with a weak immune system as Probiotics could increase the risk of infection.

Pharmacist Tips:

Most people should obtain adequate amounts of Probiotics from a healthy diet. Probiotics are present in many naturally fermented foods including yogurt, kimchi, pickles, certain types of cheese and apple cider vinegar.

There is no definitive evidence in the use of Probiotics for allergic conditions. Always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist for the management. 

Common dosing schedule:
Take Probiotics as per product instructions.

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Probiotics may interact with:
Interactions between Probiotics and other medications have not been reported. 

Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Probiotics in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Probiotic supplements can be purchased without a prescription from any retail outlet. This includes grocery stores, convenience stores, medicine shops, and pharmacies. It can also be obtained from doctors.To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at https://www.drugoffice.gov.hk/

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Probiotics in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.