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Probiotics for Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea in Pediatrics: A Review of Clinical Effectiveness and Guidelines

Last updated: March 25, 2019
Project Number: RC1086-000
Product Line: Rapid Response
Research Type: Drug
Report Type: Summary with Critical Appraisal
Result type: Report

Question

  1. What is the clinical effectiveness of probiotics (with or without concurrent antibiotics) for preventing and treating antibiotic-associated diarrhea in the pediatric population?
  2. What are the evidence-based guidelines regarding the use of probiotics (with or without concurrent antibiotics) for the prevention and treatment of antibiotic-associated diarrhea in the pediatric population?

Key Message

Evidence of limited quality from nine systematic reviews suggested favourable effects of probiotics on antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD) relative to placebo, no additional treatment, or other non-probiotic treatment comparators. However, clinical evidence regarding the conditions under which probiotics were effective (e.g., specific dosing regimens, other outcomes, and indications) was sparse. Two evidence-based guidelines recommended the use of probiotics for the treatment of AAD and one guideline recommended probiotics for the treatment of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea.