What is it?
Saccharomyces boulardii is most commonly used for treating and preventing diarrhea, including infectious types such as rotaviral diarrhea in children, diarrhea caused by gastrointestinal (GI) take-over (overgrowth) by "bad" bacteria in adults, traveler's diarrhea, and diarrhea associated with tube feedings. It is also used to prevent and treat diarrhea caused by the use of antibiotics.
How effective is it?
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
The effectiveness ratings for SACCHAROMYCES BOULARDII are as follows:
Likely effective for...
- Diarrhea in people taking antibiotics. Research shows that taking Saccharomyces boulardii can prevent diarrhea caused by taking antibiotics.
- Diarrhea. Research shows that Saccharomyces boulardii can prevent diarrhea in people with feeding tubes. It also helps reduce the length of time that diarrhea persists in infants and children.
Possibly effective for...
- Acne. Research shows that taking Saccharomyces boulardii by mouth helps improve the appearance of acne.
- Diarrhea caused by the bacteria Clostridium difficile. Taking Saccharomyces boulardii by mouth helps prevent diarrhea in people infected by Clostridium difficile bacteria. It might work better in children than adults. Taking Saccharomyces boulardii also seems to prevent diarrhea caused by this bacteria from re-occurring in some people. But it doesn't seem to prevent recurrence in people being treated for Clostridium difficile diarrhea for the first time.
- Helicobacter pylori. Taking Saccharomyces boulardii by mouth along with standard H. pylori treatment helps treat this infection. About 12 people need to be treated with Saccharomyces boulardii for one patient who would otherwise remain infected to be cured. Taking Saccharomyces boulardii also helps prevent side effects such as diarrhea and nausea that occur with standard H. pylori treatment.
- Diarrhea related to HIV. Taking Saccharomyces boulardii by mouth appears to reduce diarrhea related to HIV.
- Traveler's diarrhea. Taking Saccharomyces boulardii by mouth appears to prevent traveler's diarrhea.
Possibly ineffective for...
- Hyperbilirubinemia (high levels of bilirubin in the blood). Giving Saccharomyces boulardii to infants with high levels of bilirubin in the blood doesn't decrease the length of time for which phototherapy is needed.
Insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for...
- Amoeba infections (amebiasis). Early research shows that taking Saccharomyces boulardii by mouth along with antibiotics reduces diarrhea and stomach pain in people with amoeba infections.
- Crohn's disease. Taking Saccharomyces boulardii seems to reduce the number of bowel movements in people with Crohn's disease. Early research also shows that taking Saccharomyces boulardii along with mesalamine can help people with Crohn's disease stay in remission longer. But taking Saccharomyces boulardii alone does not seem to help people with Crohn's disease stay in remission longer.
- Cystic fibrosis. Early research shows that taking Saccharomyces boulardii by mouth does not reduce yeast infections in the digestive tract of people with cystic fibrosis.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). One study shows that taking Saccharomyces boulardii by mouth along with mesalazine does not improve symptoms of IBS better than taking mesalazine alone.
- Ulcerative colitis. Early research shows that adding Saccharomyces boulardii to standard mesalamine therapy can reduce symptoms in people with mild-to-moderate ulcerative colitis.
- Canker sores.
- Fever blisters.
- High cholesterol.
- Lactose intolerance.
- Lyme disease.
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs).
- Yeast infections.
- Other conditions.
How does it work?
Are there safety concerns?
Special precautions & warnings:Children. Saccharomyces boulardii is POSSIBLY SAFE for children when taken by mouth appropriately. However, diarrhea in children should be evaluated by a healthcare professional before using Saccharomyces boulardii.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking Saccharomyces boulardii if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Weakened immune system: There is some concern that critically ill people, people who have a weakened immune system, and people who are taking medicines that alter the immune system might have an increased risk for developing a yeast infection that spreads to the bloodstream and the rest of the body (fungemia) if they take Saccharomyces boulardii. Although Saccharomyces generally doesn't cause disease, there have been numerous cases of fungemia following its use, primarily in people with a weakened immune system.
Yeast allergy: People with yeast allergy can be allergic to products containing Saccharomyces boulardii, and are best advised to avoid these products.
Are there interactions with medications?
- Medications for fungal infections (Antifungals)
- Saccharomyces boulardii is a fungus. Medications for fungal infections help reduce fungus in and on the body. Taking Saccharomyces boulardii with medications for fungal infections can reduce the effectiveness of Saccharomyces boulardii.
Some medications for fungal infection include fluconazole (Diflucan), caspofungin (Cancidas), itraconazole (Sporanox) amphotericin (Ambisome), and others.
Are there interactions with herbs and supplements?
- There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.
Are there interactions with foods?
- There are no known interactions with foods.
What dose is used?
- For diarrhea in people taking antibiotics: 250-500 mg of Saccharomyces boulardii two to four times a day for up to 2 weeks is most commonly used. In most cases, daily doses do not exceed 1000 mg daily.
- For diarrhea caused by Clostridium difficile: 1 gram of Saccharomyces boulardii daily for 4 weeks along with antibiotic treatment.
- For diarrhea caused by Helicobacter pylori: 500-1000 mg of Saccharomyces boulardii for 1-4 weeks is most commonly used.
- For diarrhea associated with HIV: 3 grams of Saccharomyces boulardii daily.
- For traveler's diarrhea: 250-1000 mg of Saccharomyces boulardii daily for 1 month.
- For diarrhea in people taking antibiotics: 250 mg of Saccharomyces boulardii once or twice daily for the duration of antibiotics has been used.
- For diarrhea caused by Clostridium difficile: 500 mg of Saccharomyces boulardii daily has been used.
- For general diarrhea: 250-750 mg of Saccharomyces boulardii daily for up to 5 days is most commonly used.
To learn more about how this article was written, please see the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database methodology.
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