Do you recommend conventional antibiotics for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)?

We don't necessarily recommend conventional antibiotics, but we don't discourage you from taking them either.

If you want to treat SIBO with antibiotics, doctors usually use one called Rifaximin. There are others that doctors sometimes use as an alternative, as Rifaximin is very expensive. If you get it privately, it's usually around £250 for one course. Metronidazole is one example.

Many practitioners only refer SIBO cases on to doctors as a last resort, because of the potential impact of antibiotics on the microbiome as a whole. Interestingly, Rifaximin has been shown to be relatively gentle, and works mostly in the small intestine while having much less of an effect in the large intestine. Some others, including Metronidazole, have quite a profound effect on your whole microbiome and have much more potential to cause dysbiosis (an imbalance of the communities of microbes in your gut).

You can read more about how important it is to preserve the diversity of your microbiome on our blog: