Xifaxan

Generic Name: Rifaximin
Brand Names: Xifaxan

What is Xifaxan?

Xifaxan (rifaximin) is an antibiotic that fights bacterial infection only in the intestines.

Xifaxan is used to treat travelers' diarrhea caused by E. coli in adults and children who are at least 12 years old. Most people get this infection by eating food or drinking fluids that have been contaminated with the bacteria.

Xifaxan is also used to lower the risk of worsened brain function, or hepatic encephalopathy, in adults with liver failure. Brain function can be affected when the liver stops working and cannot remove toxic substances from the body.

Xifaxan may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information about Xifaxan

You should not use take Xifaxan if you are allergic to rifaximin or medications such as rifabutin (Mycobutin), rifampin (Rifater, Rifadin, Rifamate), or rifapentine (Priftin).

Before you take Xifaxan, tell your doctor if you have severe liver disease, diarrhea with fever, or diarrhea that is watery or has blood in it.

Take Xifaxan for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Xifaxan will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu, or any form of diarrhea that is caused by a virus. Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 24 hours, or if they get worse while taking rifaximin. Xifaxan does not treat all bacterial forms of traveler's diarrhea.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking Xifaxan?

You should not use take Xifaxan if you are allergic to rifaximin or medications such as rifabutin (Mycobutin), rifampin (Rifater, Rifadin, Rifamate), or rifapentine (Priftin).

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a Xifaxan dose adjustment or special tests:

  • severe liver disease;
  • diarrhea with a fever; or
  • watery or bloody diarrhea.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Xifaxan will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using Xifaxan. It is not known whether rifaximin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use Xifaxan without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take Xifaxan?

Take Xifaxan exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Xifaxan can be taken with or without food.

Take this medication for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Xifaxan will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu, or any form of diarrhea that is caused by a virus. Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 24 hours, or if they get worse while taking rifaximin. Xifaxan does not treat all bacterial forms of traveler's diarrhea.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking Xifaxan?

Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, stop taking Xifaxan and call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

Xifaxan side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Xifaxan: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using Xifaxan and call your doctor at once if you have a fever or diarrhea that is watery or bloody.

Less serious Xifaxan side effects are more likely, and may include:

  • bloating, gas, stomach pain;
  • feeling like you need to empty your bowel urgently;
  • feeling like your bowel is not completely empty;
  • nausea, vomiting, constipation;
  • headache, dizziness;
  • tired feeling; or
  • swelling in your hands, feet, or torso.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Xifaxan?

There may be other drugs that can interact with Xifaxan. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

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