Antibiotics and running

My daughter has had re-occuring episodes of impetigo and our doctor has, after taking nasal swabs from the family, discovered that I have been ‘growing’ the bacteria in my nasal cavity. I’ve not been affected but the doctor wants to give me antibiotics and nasal antibiotic to eradicate the bacteria. How do antibiotics impact your body in terms of running ability/energy – I’m running Dublin marathon in 6 weeks and am concerned about how this may impact my training. Obviously I will take them as my daughters health is more important but am a bit concerned.


  • Difficult one, because people usually take antibiotics when they've got something that would stop them running anyway. I ran on antibiotics back in July and they made no difference to me, but I wasn't training for a marathon.
  • You'll probably be fine, Ian. The only common antibiotic side-effect that would affect your running is diarrhoea, and there is some evidence that taking probiotics (to put back "good" gut bacteria) can help - if you decide to take this approach but find the cost of probiotics eye-watering, I have been given lots of vouchers for money off Actimel that I could send to you.

    All of the antibiotics commonly used for getting rid of the germ that causes impetigo - flucloxacillin, co-amoxiclav, and erythromycin - can cause diarrhoea but only erythromycin commonly causes vomiting.

    Chances are, you'll be completely fine.

    Cheers, V-rap.
  • V-Rap... having a proper qualified medical professional on these forums is soooo useful. I hope people appreciate your advice. I know I do!!!

  • Thanks V-Rap, I was hoping you'd see this one! Its actually erythromycin that he's prescribed as I'm allergic to penicillin. I have taken it before in years gone past and in fact it has always had the opposite effect on me! When you say 'good bacteria' do you mean all of that L casei imunitas / Yakult drink? I actually bought some of it the other day.
    best regards, ian
    PS Is it 'steptococcus' or something similar sounding that causes this?
  • Ian, most impetigo is caused by a bacterium called Staphylococcus aureus, one strain of which is the dreaded hospital superbug MRSA. Most infections acquired by healthy people outside hospital are sensitive to erythromycin and some penicillins. A few cases are caused by Streptococcus pyogenes, strains of which also cause tonsillitis. It is sensitive to most antibiotics. Any bacteria not reached by the antibiotics should be sorted out by the Bactroban or Fucidin cream, although sometimes Staph aureus can be a real pig to get rid of and it's all to easy to get it back again because lots of us carry it up our noses without getting any symptoms.

    "Good bacteria" include lactobacilli which normally live in the bowel and are in those probiotic drinks and also in live yogurt.

    Gordon, never forget that I'm no expert in sports medicine! My speciality is knowing a little about a lot.
  • Sorry - didn't realise Kevin hadn't logged off the family computer. That last post really was me!

    Oh sh*t - wonder what she's been up to? She only registered yesterday because she wanted to put a rhyme on the "limericks" thread and have a chance to win the Asics kit!

    Cheers, V-rap.
  • Hey Ian,

    Just to put your mind at rest, I am often on antibiotics, and honestly don't find them to be deleterious, though it's a good idea to be clever about the timing of the doses if the ones you are taking are strong.

  • V-rap,
    Kevin must be on to you! Now you'll have to watch what you say. I'll be looking out for her limerick in the meantime.

  • You just don't wanna know, Hild. It's ba-a-a-ad! I should know - I was the one who taught it to her.
  • Hey V-Rap, picked up the prescription today and doc has prescribed 4 x 250mg per day of erymax and that the normal dose to give? Seems like a lot but then I'm not a pharmacist...!!
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