Healthy Living

Can Antibiotics Cause Constipation: The Answers

Some of us require antibiotics to live in a state that is not so painful, and we love them for it, especially for those of us with chronic illnesses. I know plenty of people who swear by antibiotics for pain relief. 

However, as great as they are, they still have their downfalls. Some people report constipation from antibiotics. 

But, is it really the antibiotics, or do some people just have terrible diets, and they blame the results on antibiotics?

Come on this journey with me to find out if it’s really antibiotics at fault here.

Can Antibiotics Cause Constipation: The Answers

Do Antibiotics Cause Constipation?

To get straight to the point, antibiotics causing constipation are rare according to However, they can lead to unhappy tummies. This means they are more likely to give you diarrhea, stomach cramps, or make you nauseated than they are to make you constipated. 

However, this doesn’t mean they don’t. We are all wired differently, after all, so not everyone will have the same reaction. However, phlabs state that they may cause constipation in two ways, firstly by wreaking absolute havoc with the bacteria in your gut, or by depleting your body’s key minerals. 

But, why is it that only some get it, well, baby boomers (as a generation) are more at risk, they’re more likely to get constipation due to their biology in aging, and they are more likely to be on antibiotics too, or at least this is the claim phlabs makes. 

What Are The Side Effects Of Antibiotics?

Medically, the side effects of antibiotics do not actually tend to list constipation. Instead, these are listed instead: 

  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Bloating or indigestion.
  • A reduction or loss of appetite.
  • Diarrhea. 
  • Abdominal pains.

Can Antibiotics Cause Constipation?

Can Antibiotics Cause Constipation: The Answers

So, if constipation is not listed as a side effect, can it cause constipation? Well, the health insider states that around 1 in 10 people who take antibiotics report digestive stress. 

They can cause constipation, although this seems to be a more recent discovery than the other tummy troubles they can cause. This is because antibiotics work by changing the flora in your gut. 

Your gut flora is made up of microorganisms, and they help to keep your gut functioning properly. If you need antibiotics, it is usually due to bad bacteria being in your gut. Antibiotics fix this. 

Antibiotics get rid of the bad bacteria, but in doing so get rid of the good bacteria too. So now your body is struggling to break down complex sugars and such, which causes constipation.

How Long Does It Take To Restore Gut Health After Taking Antibiotics?

Once you have taken a course of antibiotics, you may have found yourself with stomach problems and wondering when your gut will be back to normal. 

It can take 2 months on average to recover the health of your gut after you have been on a course of antibiotics. This is because your good bacteria have been vacated by the antibiotics, so your body needs to regenerate what it’s lost. 

This can take about 2 months as your body returns your gut bacteria levels to normal. However, it may take even longer, as some studies show that some healthy bacteria are still absent in the gut even 6 months after the course of antibiotics has ended. 

How To Restore Your Gut Health After Antibiotics

womans stomach

After you have been on a course of antibiotics, going on a course of probiotics can help to minimize the risk of your getting toilet-related troubles and to restore your gut back to a healthy way. 

You should also eat high-fiber foods and prebiotics after antibiotics to help get your gut microbiota back to normal, and reduce the risk of you getting backed up.

A high fiber diet will help to ease constipation anyway, but it is even better than it can help to ease return your gut health to a more normal state post-antibiotics.

How Long Can Antibiotics Mess Up Stomach

But how long can you expect your gut to be a bit of a mess after taking antibiotics? 

Well, your body needs time to balance out the microbiome in your gut to be diverse and level. While you may notice improvements in the first 2-3 months, it is more likely that your stomach will be a bit unhappy for 6 months or so. 

This is not to say that it will be extremely messed up, but it may take this long to return to the state it was in before. 

What Helps With Constipation From Antibiotics?

man holding pills

Generally, it takes your body quite some time to rebalance your gut bacteria after antibiotics, but introducing a high fiber diet and probiotics can reduce how long it takes. 

Increasing your fluid intake will also help to alleviate any constipation from antibiotics, water will help to saturate your fecal matter and help it move through your bowels. 

You may also be able to take over-the-counter laxatives for a short period as well if you are really struggling.

What Antibiotics Cause Constipation?

Why am I constipated after taking antibiotics? Well, pretty much any antibiotic has the potential to make you constipated. While there are plenty of different antibiotics out there, they will all be doing a similar thing – removing dangerous bacteria, viruses, and fungi from your body. 

To do this they need to flush you out, and in doing so they remove healthy bacteria as well. This means any antibiotics have the ability to cause constipation

Not everyone will get constipated from antibiotics, but it is a widely known complaint. 

Altering your diet can help to avoid constipation, so ensure that you maintain a high-fiber diet to best avoid getting, even more, backed up.



Antibiotics are used to treat different illnesses. But they have their side effects. Although constipation isn’t listed as a medical side effect of antibiotics, there is a connection between antibiotic intake and constipation.
Make sure you eat healthily during and after your course of antibiotics to avoid any nasty side effects and post-antibiotic course gut distress.

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I am the owner of Vegevega, and I am passionate about everything wellness and veganism. I have been in the wellness and veganism space for over 4 years now. It's my purpose to provide helpful guides to all my readers.

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