Antibiotics Side Effects

Last Modified on Oct 25, 2013

Antibiotics have become a staple of modern medical treatment. They can save lives and significantly reduce the duration and intensity of many illnesses. However, antibiotics can have their own side effects such as diarrhea, rashes, and even long-term medical consequences such as skin conditions, IBS, and other intestinal disorders.

If taken afterwards or in conjunction with your full course of antibiotics, certain natural home remedies can reduce antibiotic side effects and help return you to full health right away after an illness.

Home Remedies: Yogurt and probiotic supplements are the standard complementary therapy for use with antibiotics. Since antibiotics kill all bacteria within the body -- including those helpful bacteria necessary for proper digestion of our food -- the probiotics in yogurt can be helpful to restore your gut flora and prevent diarrhea.

Antibiotic Side Effects

Approval Ratings

04/19/2013: John from Lapeer, Mi, Usa: "I've been battling a sinus infection since October of 2012, seems it's now going away but I've taken Bactrim twice, then keflex, then ciprofloxacin because I am allergic to Augmentin/Amoxicillin. before the Cipro, I was getting some lower abdominal pains, went to the doc who prescribed me the Cipro, and told me to eat a yogurt a day. I did as instructed, Cipro didnt help the sinusitis at all, to this day I've been having quick sharp pains, some gas pains, and my stool has been yellowish and soft, painful when coming out of the rectum. I have recently started a probiotic with acidophilus. 3 a day, along with 1-2 yogurts per day. I was hoping someone could share some insight to help ease my mind a little bit before my doctors appointment on Monday. As well as what kinds of things I should ask my doctor during this visit. I am extremely tired of having stuff wrong with me, I just want to be normal again so I don't have to worry so much. Thanks in advance to all who help."

04/20/2013: Carebear from City In The Clouds, Rainbow State replies: "Wondering if Colostrum would help you in your healing process? Wishing you well!"
04/20/2013: Leah from Philadelphia, Pa replies: "Hello, sorry to hear you are not feeling well. Colloidal silver is good for immunity and can be bought as an inhaler. Food grade hydrogen peroxide diluted in distilled water can also be inhaled or spritzed into your nose and throat or swallowed 3 hrs after eating. Iodine either from kelp or lugols works well too just in water or juice as indicated on bottle. Super dosing vitamin C and other minerals and vitamins. Apple cider vinegar in water or juice. Really there are many ways to fight your infection.

Avoid certain foods that depress immunity such as artificial flavours, colours, sweeteners, sugar and fried foods. Good sources of probiotic bacteria are found in kimchee, sauerkraut, kefir, probiotic yogurt, apple cider vinegar. Check out other posts regarding viruses and detoxing. There are some really amazing tips here that can change your life! Wishing you well again soon!"

10/25/2013: Faithful from Sandeigo replies: "I had a dental fistula it required oral surgery I reluctantly accepted antibiotics from my MD putting me on clindamycin for 5 weeks. I researched Clindamycin and was shocked, it should be taken off the market I decided I do some things to offset the side effects.

My MD also gave me doctor gave me Saccharomyces boulardi and therelac not to be mistaken with threelac . I also took floraster and vital 10 which is in the billions. The word probiotic orgin is greek, "For Life." We need this to protect our bodies. I take the probiotics 4 times a day . I also empty a few of the capsules into a couple cups of sterlized warm water in my yogurt maker the temperature of yogurt makers are generally 110 . If If don't own a yogurt maker you can put it in the warming oven at 110. Then let it sit for 8 to 10 hours and let the probiotics bacteria will begin to multiply into the billions and trillions. This is the biggest bang for your buck! Then before bed after you have a BM or an enema your colon is clear. Lay down two big soft towels in your bathroom. Then take the probiotic water content put in an enema bag and then let the content drain into your colon. If your not physically comprimised then do a shoulder stand on the soft towel this allows the probiotics water to go deep into the colon, then lay down on the towel and roll all the way around, and hold for thirty minutes and then empty. For the greatest benefits, hold some of probiotics water in the colon overnight. I also would put some of the probiotics water solution in a glass and water bottle and drink it throughout the day and eat non lactose kefir as well. Also consider the anti candida diet for a few months when taking antibiotic this keeps the bad bugs from growing. Take vitamin C vitamin helps tissue regenerate, and vitamin B protects your digestion and works with probotics. Take Glutamine helps heal your stomach lining. Aloe vera juice helps soothe and heal the stomach. Take colustrum or transfer factor multi immune this is what new born babies get from their mothers, it is truly amazing one of the natures greatest protectors . Eat kimchi sauerkraut and garlic

Antibiotic can cause seious side effects months later, it seems the risks of taking antibiotics, may far outweight the benefits. In certain cases, you must take it. When a MD prescribes antibiotics do NOT just accept the pills, this your options tell them you want the antibiotics in a shot or get IV antibiotics this way your controlling what happens to your body and your in charge! It is damage control and your stomach doesn't get torn up, this way. Even this method has side effects.

My Naturopathic is also a MD, she told me they can prescribe natural alternatives that have next to no side effects and that plant microbials are more powerful than any synthetic man-made antibiotics I totally believe it. Some case studies are out there. Be well"

10/25/2013: Prioris from Fl, Usa replies: "Regarding ...

"My Naturopathic is also a MD, she told me they can prescribe natural alternatives that have next to no side effects and that plant microbials are more powerful than any synthetic man-made antibiotics I totally believe it. Some case studies are out there. Be well"

I seem to do well when taking minocin and amoxicillin. even my stomach flora seems to do well. I won't take any others due to the severe effect they have. I took minocin (not minocycline) for two years with no ill effect for experimentation purposes. it started curing my fibromyalgia that I had for over 30 years within days. I have been cured for 15 years.

I keep amoxicillin on hand to either nip dental problem in the bud or buy time for alternatives. this has worked for me so far. I'd like to try to find a natural alternative to amoxicillin that is just as effective. Any suggestions?"

[SIDE EFFECTS]  06/09/2010: Lorraine from Rochester, Ny: "I was poisoned by cipro. my hands, feet, face, liver, and spleen all swollen. im still swollen. My liver is not or spleen anymore but hands and feet my legs hurt. I was given cipro for an UTI and other things over the years. now i can hardly move. im confused with the borax... can i use boron tablets or i just buy the borax laundry detergent and drink that?? im confused. thank you for your help.. Lorraine"

12/26/2012: Anonymous from La, Ca replies: "Cipro has fluoroquinolones in which is the chemical, fluoride atoms which causes fluoride poisoning. Not to scare you Cipro can cause tendons to snap, even months after you take it! Once people get educated on fluoride it's dangers it will not be allowed in the water medicine or toothpaste. Best approach is to see a ND and immediately start working on a detoxificatation, and they can assist the liver that apparently is overwhelmed by the fluoride poisoning."
05/16/2013: Mesem from Manosque, France replies: "I can't move my hand properly after taking a week of antibiotics after an animal bite. The doctor says I need to re-educate! What rot. It's a tendonitis provoked by antiobiotic. Will it go away? This is scary. 5 Months on now...."

[SIDE EFFECTS]  03/21/2010: May from Calgary, Canada: "antibiotics, poisonous taste in mouth

hi there i had strep throat for the second time in a month and a half....

this time i was started on an antibiotic i wasn't allergic to and my mouth is filled with a weird taste like poison or mettalic or sour, i can't quite describe it...

i saw in some other posts that taking acv with baking soda and water can help...however i am wondering if i should stop taking the antibiotics and do the natural remedy instead???

thanks so much!"

[SIDE EFFECTS]  10/18/2009: Annie from Oxford, In: "This is a warning for anyone taking antibiotics to do your homework before blindly accepting the advise of the medical establishment. I guess it pays to be proactive when it comes to our own health, and no one can advocate for you better than you.

I spent 4 days in hospital 3 weeks ago for what turned out to be my first, and only, I hope, kidney stone. I had also developed a pretty serious infection with a high fever, very low BP, and low oxygen levels. During my stay I was on a morphine drip, and received 2 different IV antibiotics. Upon my release I was given a prescription for a 7 day course of Ciprofloxacn (Generic for Cipro). It never occurred to me to question this, and I took it for the full 7 days. I was still pretty sick and in bed much of the time, and on the 4th day home developed a serious case of hives. These were large, incredibly itchy, and literally on every part of my body but my head and the soles of my feet. Nothing seemed to give me much relief, and the 3rd day of this I called the doctor's office to find out if they had any idea what could be causing this. They pretty much blew me off, told me to take Benedryl and thought maybe it was the morphine. I suffered for nearly 2 weeks before it began to clear up. I thought maybe it was the probiotics I was taking, or the pain meds, which I quit at the first sign of the hives. Never did it dawn on me it could be the antibiotic, and I never googled it. Then, in preparation for the lithotripsy I have scheduled for blasting my 12mm stone, I went back in for some tests. I had been feeling like I had a mild bladder infection for a few days, but thought it might just be the stent they put in temporarily. The nurse practitioner checked my urine and sure enough, I did have an infection. Because I have no insurance, she gave me some sample antibiotics, a 5 day course of Levaquin. Although I hated the thought of a fourth round, I knew I could not have the lithotripsy done with an active infection.

Anyway, and sorry to go on so - by the time I got home from the doc I was really feeling uncomfortable with classic UTI symptoms big time. I took the 1st pill (one a day)but by that night I was in real pain. I wondered if I could take the 2nd dose the same day, I know I have been instructed to do that in the past, so I went online and googled Levaquin. Well, I just couldn't believe all the negative information out there about it. I will let anyone interested do their own research, but one web site was similar to this one, with people, hundreds of them, writing in about their horror stories of Fluoroquinolone class of antibiotics. And one of the main side effects (and one of the more minor ones, really) is terrible hives. There are so many reported side effects that last year the FDA issued an order for a "black box warning" on these drugs, which is the last step before a drug is pulled off the market. Why my bottle had no warning is a mystery to me...could it be because it is the generic equivalent? How scary. Another serious side effect suffered by many is ruptured tendons. The list is long and there are many victims.

I have not taken another pill, and just the one caused my rash to come back on my flank and ankles, but I am so thankful I didn't take the full course.

Big question is...even after alerting this Nurse Practitioner to my rash, even showing her the resulting bruise like marks all over my legs and back, she still merrily turned around and gave me more of the same, saying it couldn't be the antibiotics.

That is when I found this site, looking for something to try and treat my UTI without drugs. When I saw all the positive reports from using Apple Cider Vinegar, I began taking it right away. I took 3 T. in a glass of water about 6 pm, and again about 10 pm. I fell asleep on the couch, still very uncomfortable, but when I woke at 3 am, I knew it was working. By the next morning I felt better than I had in weeks. I believe the antibiotic I was sent home with never got rid of the infection, and the discomfort I was feeling and blaming on the stent was actually a UTI, and perhaps my body reacting in other ways to this drug.

This is the 3rd day since, and I have been taking 2 T. Vinegar in a full glass of filtered water about 4 times a day. I feel good, and hope the urine test I have to take before the lithotripsy shows no more infection. If it has not cleared up, I'll take it as a sign and try to get rid of the stone with the EVOO and lemon juice treatment I've read about. I'm just a bit worried the stone may be too big for it to work! Anyway, I'll continue to post and update on how effective the vinegar has been."

[SIDE EFFECTS]  05/31/2009: Nicole from Charlotte, NC: "I've been browsing through this site and have been amazed at the wealth of information here. I originally found it while looking for natural remedies. I have been been "not feeling well" for the last couple of weeks. I always have seasonal allergies issues but it got to the point that I had to go the ER because I could not swallow, was running a fever, dizziness and everything hurt. I was diagnoses with a sinus infection and tonsilitis and given a slew of medications. The next week I had a follow up exam with a doctor and was then diagnosed with a bladder infection. At the point of visiting the doctor, I had not had a bowel movement in 4 days when I usually have them at least once a day; as I was not eating a lot, I did not dwell on it. However, as I've taken the antibiotics, I've felt sicker and sicker - nausea, dizziness, upset stomach, basically the majority of listed side effects. BUT I've been having another "side effect" that was not listed and I've never had it before..... my stomach muscles start contracts so much that my body basically pulls/lunges forward and it feels like the upper ab area is swelling with air. It feels like I'm trying to do sit ups against my will. This happens either sitting or standing. It doesn't necessarily last for days, but once it starts, it continues until I go to bed that evening. It is also affecting what I eat because it is not allowing me to eat that much. Is this an additional side effect of the antibiotic? Has anyone else dealt with this? Any information provided is greatly appreciated."

06/01/2009: Phyllis from Valdese, NC replies: "I also am allergic to a few medicines. About 15 years ago I was given the medicine called Reglan. Not long after I took it my stomach started knotting up and cramping real bad. It did that for a whole day and went back to the Dr. and he said I was having an allergic reaction. I'm also allergic to Compensene, it caused my tongue to stick out and my throat to swell. So if you're allergic to one kind of medicine, you probably will be with another. It is important to get your bowells cleaned out as toxins can make you very sick. Hope you get better soon."
10/02/2012: Carmel from London, England replies: "I had a similar thing happen to me. I think it could be that the antibiotics (or steroids or whatever) can damage the stomach and kill the good bacteria in it.

It can also cause leaky gut syndrome or candida. You have a damaged immune system and then all sorts can happen. I have started to take probiotics every day (it is cheaper to take a good tablet each day than take the yoghurt) plus OMEGA 3, plus kale, selenium, vitamin c, garlic and feverfew for my headaches which are caused by inflammation in my forehead I never got before! You can contact me on feistysmartlady(at)

Doctors do not understand or even accept this."

Chicken and Meat With Hormones, Antibiotics

Approval Ratings

[SIDE EFFECTS]  05/28/2009: Di from Magnolia Springs, Alabama: "Hormones and Anti-biotics:

Recently my granddaughter saw her Pediatrician and was told to stop eating chicken, meats that contained hormones or anti-biotic to only buy natural (organic) chicken for she will go into puberty early. We have heard this from many parents and were told that's why girls and boys are maturing so fast. My question, if this happens to children what happens to adults that eat the same chicken. Does this speed up the aging process? Is this why many women are going into Menopause so early? What effect does hormones have on adults including men? My question on Anti-Biotic my daughter (31) was diagnosed with Lymphoma and is now in remission prior to her diagnoses she had taken a series of anti-biotic for something she did not have for 3 months. One month later she has lymphoma. My great niece (10 months) has lymphoma and was born with it. She has had a bone marrow transplant and is in remission and was told it could back in about 12 years. The cause was from her mother taking anti-biotic when she was pregnant. If we give chickens anti-biotic does this affect many cancers that people have? Has anyone done a study?"

EC: Great questions, thank you Di. Let's get the conversation started on this new page!

05/30/2009: Joyce from Joelton, Tn replies: "I have not seen any study done on this.

However there is a lot of controversy over what antibiotics, hormones in meats, as well as growth hormone given to cows to increase milk production does to us. I have also read that exposure to opposite gender hormones in utero or infancy may be cause of homosexuality (one time), no further study.

There is a lot of controversy over whether antibiotics given to food chain animals cause allergic reactions to those eating the meat from these animals.

Personally, it seems that we should be more concerned with what the monosodium glutamate (MSG), aspartame and other toxins in food chain and water supply does to our brains and central nervous systems, as well as the effect it has on the entire body. If you are not familiar with the damage done by these toxins, type "excitotoxins" in your search window and educate yourself quickly before more damage is done to your system. Alzheimers Disease is hitting people in their 30's now, and those without a family history of Alzheimers. Search "Metabolic Syndrome X" to find out what it does to the body in general. You will find that the two major excitotoxins mentioned above cause our bodies to kick out excess insulin which is the beginning of Metabolic Syndrome X (called Insulin Resistance by orthodox medicine) which ends with Diabetes type 2 and all its end stage complications.

Have also read that early sexual development can be attributed to fluorescent lighting quite awhile back. If this is so what, is going to happen as we move more into fluorescent lighting to conserve energy?

Another problem with antibiotics and hormones that many people still don't know, is that antibiotics can cancel the efficacy of birth control pills, thereby causing an unwanted pregnancy. Fortunately, most pregnancies that occur while taking birth control pills, have chromosomal mutations that cause spontaneous early abortion.

I also recently read that when you see sodium benzoate (a very common preservative in our food chain, especially in all carbonated beverages, is converted into benzene by the addition of Vitamin C, and benzene is very toxic."

Flagyl Side Effects

Approval Ratings

[SIDE EFFECTS]  05/28/2013: Penelope from Alameda, Ca: "I saw the prescription name "Flagyl" and I had to say something about this medication. I had to take this antibiotic for a severe tooth infection and it wrecked my body. I only took a 10 day dose. Although I never had any numbness that I recall, I got oral thrush and felt like I had the flu everyday for about 3 months after taking it. I only started to feel better after taking natural remedies to clean out my liver and detox my body. It took months to recover from it. That was now a year ago and my energy level has never quite returned to normal. There are many horror stories online about this antibiotic - if you don't feel right taking it ditch it immediatley and ask for something else if you absolutely must be on antibiotics. I wish I had."

05/22/2013: Larayne from Beautiful New Mexico: "I was on long term use of Flagyl, initially for an infection, then for c-diff. I refuse to take any more antibiotics and will try some of the homeopathics I read about that were helpful to others. I do have one question. Has anyone experienced numbness of the feet, ankles, and fingers? I read it could be from long term use of Flagyl but can't seem to find out if it is temporary, long term (as in months) or permanent. Just wondered if anyone else has experienced this."

05/24/2013: Oregano from North York, On, Canada replies: "Flagyl is bad. It causes yeast infection. There is a product used in Nepal for diarrhea. It is used mostly by tourists to be protected. It is natural and it has been tested against many bacterias. Give it a try. Best regards."

Remedies Needed

12/03/2011: Uncommen from Keizer, Oregon/usa: "Please give info on removing all antibiotics from a person's body. My mother took tetracycline when I was in her womb. Now I have a heart murmur and 12 mercury amalgam fillings. I must have most my other health boo boos from any and all antibiotics I had taken. I eat chicken, etc. amap without additives.

Thanks, Uncommen"

12/04/2011: Timh from Louisville, Usa replies: "Uncommen, I found out only recently that my mother (over) took prescription diuretic during my development. After losing my health 25 yrs ago and struggling for life for last 3 yrs with little improvement, it was easily understandable when my sister told me of this occurrence. From a close examination of my life from childhood to present, it appears my nervous, detoxification, and immune system are all under or incorrectly developed.

Treatment doesn't seem to include "detoxing" the said drug, only fortifying and strengthening the body through diet/nutrition and alternative treatments for good health located on this site. But to truly recover from a natal injury would require one or both the forgoing treatment: 1) Growth Hormone Therapy. There are several methods to boost Human Growth Hormone (HGH)so the liver can convert it to Insulin Growth Factor (IGF). If IGF levels can be substantially raised, your body will regrow itself as it did in your teens. I use the amino acid GABA for a natural HGH booster with good results. Jon Baron says that intense aerobic exercise or weight lifting/training boost HGH levels as much as 600%. Also, supplementing DHEA or Progesterone can revert metabolism toward an anabolic state thereby increasing cellular lifespan and integrity. I would even consider a doctor prescribed low dose Androstenodione if the benefits outdo the side effects in one's case. But hormone therapy can only go so far as a treatment because it cannot go beyond the point of damage. HT works from your current condition. As an adjunct to HGH therapy, I use Raw Glandular Therapy. A men's or women's multiglandular product HGH would greatly augment the total effect of regeneration. 2) Live Cell Therapy (LCT) is kinda like glandular therapy accept the tissues are harvested prior to birth in the cadaver and frozen to retain the life-giving essence. Mysenchime and other embryonic tissues can be purchased online and administered by a physician intramuscularly for a period of a few weeks. There are also clinics in sundry places on earth that offer LCT. If this therapy works as proposed, it could make drastic and permanent changes to damaged cells in the body. LCT is the alternative med equivalent of Stem Cell Therapy. Of course there are ethical considerations to consider.

Also don't forget the regenerative powers of omega 3's or EFA's, as well as Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF). CGF is kinda like a live plant cell therapy. There are nutritional and homeopathic formulas of live plant cells for regenerative purposes. For all these proposed therapies, the testimonials seems to be somewhat mixed. As I mentioned previously, combining any number of these regenerative therapies would, at least theoretically, yield a much greater response.

Good luck and don't give up."

10/12/2011: Newbie19 from Washington, Usa: "Hi, I am very new to the holistic arena but after a bout of side effects with various antibiotics and my doctors telling me that I must endure 'a bit' of discomfort by taking these drugs to see better days, I am looking for a more natural way.

Highlights: had an abscessed molar so dentist recommended extraction and put me on Amoxicillin at first; tooth was close to the root so I had to go to a Periodontist who put me on Clindamycin instead at 300 mg, 4x a day, a stronger antibiotic. Side effects: diarrhea, high anxiety, insomnia, shaky hands, feelings of despair, tension in neck and head area. Tooth was extracted four days later by an Oral Surgeon. I'm now on a different antibiotic to prevent bacteria growth - Augentin. Whew! I do not drink, smoke, do drugs so these medicines are wreaking havoc on my body, I'm sure. I'm still have anxiety and tension as well as (excuse me) loose stools. Any recommendation, suggestions PLEASE!"

10/13/2011: Nancy from Brighton, Mi replies: "Make sure you eat lots of yogurt, water. Bananas for diarrhea and apple sauce no sugar."



Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.