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  • Generic Name: (rifaximin)
    Other Brands: N/A
  • Last Revised: 12/2015
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      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.

    • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

      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.

    • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

      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.

    • Who should not take this medication?

      Do not take Xifaxan if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

    • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

      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.

    • What is the usual dosage?

      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.

      Travelers' Diarrhea

      Adults and children ≥12 years: The recommended dose is one 200-milligram (mg) tablet three times a day for 3 days.

      Hepatic Encephalopathy

      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.

    • How should I take this medication?

      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.

    • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

      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.

    • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

      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.

    • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

      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.

    • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

      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.

    • How should I store this medication?

      Store at room temperature.

    • Who should I contact in case of emergency or overdose?
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      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

      This PDR+ drug information has been developed by the Physicians’ Desk Reference Network (PDRN), a source of medication information trusted by doctors for over 65 years.

      This monograph summarizes the most important information about your medication and does not cover all the information you may need. If you have any questions or concerns or want to learn more about your medication, ask your healthcare provider; he/she will be able to provide answers to your questions. This medication should only be used by the patient for whom it was prescribed and should not be shared with other people.
    • Additional patient resources.
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