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Xifaxan is an antibiotic used to treat travelers' diarrhea caused by certain bacteria. Xifaxan is also used to prevent episodes of hepatic encephalopathy (worsening brain function due to the damaged liver not being able to remove toxins from the blood) and to treat irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea.
How does this medication work?
Xifaxan works by stopping the growth of bacteria, thereby helping to treat your condition.
Xifaxan does not treat viral infections, such as the common cold.
What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?
Travelers' Diarrhea: Xifaxan has been shown to reduce the duration of diarrhea.
Hepatic Encephalopathy: Xifaxan has been shown to reduce the risk of hepatic encephalopathy episodes.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome: More people taking Xifaxan experienced adequate relief of symptoms following treatment than those not taking the medicine.
When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take Xifaxan exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed for the full course of treatment, even if your symptoms improve earlier.
How do I know it is working?
You may feel a relief in your symptoms. This is a good indicator that the medicine is working. Your healthcare provider may order tests regularly to check how well this medication is working.
The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.
More common side effects in people with travelers' diarrhea may include: headache.
More common side effects in people with hepatic encephalopathy may include: swelling in your hands, legs, and feet; nausea; dizziness; tiredness; build-up of fluids in your abdomen (stomach area).
More common side effects in people with irritable bowel syndrome: increased liver enzymes, nausea.
Less common side effects of Xifaxan may include:
Watery and bloody diarrhea (with or without stomach cramps and fever) may occur, even as late as two or more months after having taken your last dose of Xifaxan.
Do not take Xifaxan if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.
Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Xifaxan. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have liver problems or bloody diarrhea.
The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.
Adults and children ≥12 years: The recommended dose is one 200-milligram (mg) tablet three times a day for 3 days.
Adults: The recommended dose is one 550-mg tablet twice a day.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Diarrhea
Adults: The recommended dose is one 550-mg tablet three times a day for 14 days.
Take Xifaxan exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Xifaxan without first talking to your healthcare provider.
Take Xifaxan with or without food.
If you are taking Xifaxan for travelers' diarrhea, tell your healthcare provider if your diarrhea worsens or does not improve within 24 to 48 hours of starting treatment.
Do not skip doses. Skipping doses or not completing the full course of Xifaxan can decrease its effectiveness and can lead to the growth of bacteria that are resistant to the effects of Xifaxan.
If Xifaxan is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Xifaxan with cyclosporine.
The effects of Xifaxan during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
If you miss a dose of Xifaxan, take it as soon as you remember. 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.
Store at room temperature.
In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222
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