Generic Name: Rifaximin

  • What is Xifaxan?

    Xifaxan is an antibiotic used to treat travelers' diarrhea in people ≥12 years old.

    Xifaxan is also used to decrease the risk of recurrent hepatic encephalopathy (worsening brain function due to the liver not being able to remove toxic substances in the blood) in people ≥18 years old.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Xifaxan?

    Xifaxan is not effective in people with diarrhea complicated by fever and/or blood in the stool or diarrhea due to bacteria other than E. coli. Seek immediate medical attention if you have blood in your stools or if you have a fever.

    You should not take Xifaxan if your diarrhea gets worse or lasts longer than 24-48 hours. Your doctor may decide other antibiotics may be better for you.

    Xifaxan is like other antibiotics that can cause diarrhea that may be mild to severe. You may get watery and bloody stools (with or without stomach cramps or fever) even as late as 2 or more months after taking the last dose of Xifaxan. If this happens, call your doctor immediately.

    Xifaxan, like other antibiotics, treat infections from bacteria, not viruses (such as the common cold). Although you may feel better soon after starting treatment, it is important to take Xifaxan exactly as directed for the full course of treatment. Skipping doses or not completing the full course of Xifaxan treatment may decrease the effectiveness of Xifaxan and may lead to the bacteria developing resistance so that it may not be treatable by Xifaxan or other antibiotics in the future.

  • Who should not take Xifaxan?

    You should not take Xifaxan if you are allergic to Xifaxan or any other rifamycin-type antibiotics.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Xifaxan?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Xifaxan. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have a fever, blood in your stools, have liver problems, if you are pregnant, may be pregnant, plan to become pregnant, are breastfeeding, or plan to breastfeed.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Hepatic Encephalopathy

    Adults ≥18 years old: The usual recommended dose is 550 milligrams (mg) taken 2 times a day.

    Travelers' Diarrhea

    Adults and children ≥12 years old: The usual recommended dose is 200 mg taken 3 times a day for 3 days.

  • How should I take Xifaxan?

    Xifaxan can be taken with or without food at the same time every day.

  • What should I avoid while taking Xifaxan?

    You should not take Xifaxan for more than 48 hours, if your symptoms worsen or if you have a fever or bloody stools

    Avoid becoming pregnant or breastfeeding while on Xifaxan.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Xifaxan?

    No significant interactions have been reported with Xifaxan at this time. However, always tell your doctor about any medicines you take, including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

  • What are the possible side effects of Xifaxan?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: anaphylaxis (symptoms include trouble breathing, swelling of the throat or tongue, hives), watery or bloody stools, unsuccessful and painful straining to pass stools or urinate, urgency to pass stools, abdominal pain, swelling in the extremities, dizziness, fatigue, fluid in your stomach, frequent bowel movements, nausea, constipation, fever, vomiting, gas, headache

  • Can I receive Xifaxan if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Xifaxan during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Xifaxan?

    If you miss a dose of Xifaxan, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store Xifaxan?

    Store at room temperature.

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I'm Kristen Dore, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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