Generic Name: rifaximin (rif AX i min)Brand Names: Xifaxan
Rifaximin is an antibiotic that fights bacterial infection only in the intestines. It is used to treat travelers' diarrhea caused by E. coli. Most people get this infection by eating food or drinking fluids that have been contaminated with the bacteria.
Rifaximin works differently from other antibiotics because it passes through your stomach and into your intestines without being absorbed into your blood stream. Because rifaximin treats only the intestinal tract, it will not treat infections of other parts of the body.
Rifaximin may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
Rifaximin works differently from other antibiotics because it passes through your stomach and into your intestines without being absorbed into your blood stream. Because rifaximin affects only the intestinal tract, it will not treat infections of other parts of the body.Do not use this medication if you are allergic to rifaxmin, or if you have diarrhea with a fever, or watery or bloody diarrhea.
Rifaximin is not likely to cause serious side effects. You may have some stomach discomfort such as bloating, gas, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, constipation, or feeling like you need to empty your bowel urgently, and then feeling like your bowel is not completely empty.
diarrhea with a fever; or
watery or bloody diarrhea.
Before taking rifaximin, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs.FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether rifaximin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Rifaximin can be taken with or without food.Take this medication for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated. Rifaximin will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu, or any form of diarrhea that is caused by a virus.
Rifaxmin does not treat all bacterial forms of traveler's diarrhea. Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse after taking rifaxmin for 1 or 2 days. You may need a different medication.Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
See also: Rifaximin dosage in more detail
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Symptoms of rifaximin overdose are not known.
Antibiotic medicines can often cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or has blood in it, call your doctor. Do not use any other medicine to stop the diarrhea unless your doctor has told you to.
Less serious side effects may be more likely to occur, such as:
bloating, gas, stomach pain;
feeling like you need to empty your bowel urgently;
feeling like your bowel is not completely empty;
nausea, vomiting, constipation;
vaginal itching or discharge; or
mild itching or skin rash.
Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Usual Adult Dose for Traveler's Diarrhea:
200 mg orally three times a day for 3 days.
Usual Pediatric Dose for Traveler's Diarrhea:
>=12 years: 200 mg orally three times a day for 3 days.
There may be other drugs not listed that can affect rifaximin. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.