Xifaxan (Rifaximin) is a film-coated oral antibiotic used to treat diarrhea caused by E.coli (Escherichia coli), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with diarrhea, and in reduction of risk of hepatic encephalopathy recurrence among adults.
This medication is a non-systemic antibiotic – it does not pass the GI (gastrointestinal) wall into the circulation, unlike other oral antibiotics. Xifaxan works by blocking a step in the transcription of bacterial DNA to RNA then inhibiting protein synthesis and bacterial growth.
Follow your doctor’s instructions when you are taking this medication. Xifaxan 550mg or 200mg should be taken as often as prescribed. This antibiotic could be taken by mouth, with or without food. Ideally, it should be taken at evenly spaced times and at the same time every day.
Take it for the full amount of time as instructed by your doctor. Xifaxan for IBS usually lasts two weeks, whereas, for diarrhea, it would only require three days of medication. Do not stop abruptly even when your symptoms improve, as this could result in an increased risk of infection that is resistant to drugs. If you miss a dose of Xifaxan, take it as soon as you remember. However, you should just skip the dose if the next one is nearly due. Taking two doses at the same time is strongly discouraged.
This medication is not indicated for viral infection and could not treat all bacterial forms of traveler’s diarrhea.
Some common side effects of Xifaxan are:
Although most people who used this medication experienced minimal to no side effects, it is still important to contact your physician when you experience unusual adverse reactions. Look out for severe side effects like high-grade fever and ascites, characterized by bloating, stomach pain, and difficulty breathing when lying down.
In some rare cases, Xifaxan may have caused Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea. It is a severe intestinal condition caused by a type of resistant bacteria. Signs of this condition are abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, and blood in the stool. This condition may occur during treatment or even months after your medication cycle is over. Call the physician if you manifest these symptoms.
Avoid taking this medication if you have a known allergy to rifaximin, rifabutin, rifampin, rifapentine, or any ingredients Xifaxan may have. Signs of an allergic reaction are skin rash, itching, dizziness, and difficulty breathing. Seek medical help if you experience an allergic reaction to this medication.
Note that Xifaxan is only effective for Traveler’s diarrhea caused by E.coli. This medication may not work for Traveler’s diarrhea accompanied by fever and blood in the stool. Thus, if you are taking Xifaxan and your symptoms worsen in 24 to 48 hours, consider taking other antibiotics.
If you experience signs of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (as mentioned in Side Effects), do not take antidiarrheals or opioids, as these medications may only make your condition worse.
Patients with severe hepatic impairment must use Xifaxan with caution. If you have this condition, monitor for increased systemic exposure.
Frequently Asked Question
Who can take Xifaxan?
Xifaxan for IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and diarrhea caused by E.Coli is effective. It could also be used to reduce the risk of overt hepatic encephalopathy recurrence in adults.
Should I take Xifaxan for SIBO?
Research has shown that Xifaxan can also be quite effective for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or SIBO. Xifaxan has the potential to suppress some strains of bacteria.
How much does Xifaxan cost?
Our prices are listed at the top of this page. Should you have any questions about Xifaxan pricing, you may contact us.
Could children take Xifaxan?
This drug is not indicated for children below the age of 12.
Is Xifaxan safe for pregnant or breastfeeding moms?
There are still no definitive clinical trials to test the potential risks of Xifaxan among those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.