Antibiotics Cause HeartburnIf you take an antibiotic and start having heartburn issues, you aren’t alone. It’s common for people to have this problem. Antibiotics kill off the good bacteria in the digestive system. Bacteria we need to aid the digestion process. When it’s missing, we can suffer from digestive issues like heartburn and indigestion.

I’ve recently endured a greater frequency of heartburn, acid reflux, and esophageal spasms because of taking Bactrim. It’s been months since I’ve had esophageal spasms. They had stopped after having my esophagus dilated. It was disappointing to deal with the pain of an esophageal spasm again. I find them unbearable. I had to adjust my diet and go back on the three levels of over the counter heartburn medications (antacids, H2 blockers, and PPI’s) until I was off antibiotics and could build up the beneficial bacteria in my digestive tract.

If you have gotten away from taking daily heartburn medication like me, you may have to temporarily look at using them again until you can complete your round of antibiotics and build up your good intestinal bacteria again. Carefully watching your diet, when you eat, and your sleeping habits will also help. Remember sleeping on your left side and elevating the head of your bed helps. Lying on your left side causes your stomach to hang lower preventing stomach contents from placing as much pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter thus helping avoid acid reflux. I’ve used this technique for years with great results.


5 Things to Remember When Taking Antibiotics:

  1. Don’t take them unless they are really needed. Too many people abuse the use of antibiotics.
  2. They will likely cause heartburn.
  3. Taking them with food may reduce stomach irritation.
  4. They kill off needed good bacteria in the digestive system.
  5. Rebuilding good bacteria in your system after getting off antibiotics is essential to your digestive health.

I counted the days till I was off the antibiotics and could restore my digestive health by reintroducing good bacteria to my system. Till that time I was not concerning myself with probiotics. The antibiotics would have killed them off. Restoring digestive health by reintroducing good bacteria is the cure to getting over heartburn issues created from taking antibiotics.

  1. Linda collins 3 days ago

    I have and still am on antibiotics first for a UTI now for infected leg ulcer how can I replace my body with some good bacteria

    • Author
      Steve Hood 3 days ago

      Hello Linda! How to Treat Heartburn has an article, “Probiotics for Heartburn Relief” that discusses how to introduce probiotics into the digestive system. The section “Taking Probiotics for Heartburn Relief” is where your answer is specifically discussed. The best source of probiotics will be found in unpasteurized fermented foods and beverages. Probiotic supplements are also available. Wishing you a quick recovery!

  2. Shannon 3 weeks ago

    Well. Been taking antibiotic “Amoxicilin” for 4 days now for a possible throat infection and now I woke up with the feeling of having a wet sponge stuck in my chest and upper throat when i swallow. I feel the need to burp. ANTIBIOTICS SUCK! Great article.

    • Author
      Steve Hood 3 weeks ago

      Thank you, Shannon! Antibiotics cause miserable side effects but necessary for treating certain infections. Hate you’re feeling bad. Get well soon!

  3. Jim 2 months ago

    I never have had heart burn like this in my life . My stomach hurt and was upset all day long and it would wake me up at night. Ceftin was horrible and it had been 7 days since my last dose of the ten prescribed.
    LIKE MAGIC after I ate five yogurts yesterday my heart burn was gone!!!

    Thank you for posting reliable information on line.

    • Author
      Steve Hood 2 months ago

      You are welcome, Jim! Great to hear you’re feeling better! Thank you for sharing your experience!

  4. Jean Myette-Tracy 2 months ago

    But how would one be comfortable sleeping on your left side on a wedge pillow? Please advise.

    • Author
      Steve Hood 2 months ago

      Hello Jean,

      Sleeping on your left side and sleeping on a wedge pillow are two separate remedies for reducing acid reflux while sleeping. A wedge pillow will put the torso at a better angle even if you don’t sleep on your left side when using it. If you don’t find sleeping on your left side comfortable when using a traditional wedge pillow, there are modified wedge pillow systems that may help you find comfort.

  5. Anonymous 2 months ago

    Put me on the 2 week course of antibiotics, which eradicated it. Ever since then I suffer daily from GERD, which is how I ran into your article, I know link my condition to the fact of taking antibiotics, which kill certain types of bacteria including H. Pylori, and causing overgrowth of other bacteria with all leading consequences.

  6. Carol Ward 1 year ago

    Thank you for the advice on sleeping on the left side . I find first thing when I wake up I feel worse so i shall definitely give that a go.

    • Author
      Steve Hood 1 year ago

      You are welcome, Carol. Thank you for reading. You might also try sleeping on a wedge pillow to reduce pressure on the LES and lower chances of acid reflux. Best!

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* is for informational purposes and should not be considered medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. Please consult a physician to determine your best plan for treatment.

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