Generic name: RifaximinBrand names: Xifaxan
Xifaxan is an antibiotic prescribed to treat traveler's diarrhea, a bacterial infection in the intestines caused by Escherichia coli (also called E. coli). Traveler's diarrhea is the result of eating contaminated food or drinking untreated water, usually in foreign countries. Xifaxan is not prescribed for diarrhea that occurs with a fever or bloody stools, or when the diarrhea is not due to E. coli.
Like all antibiotics, Xifaxan could cause a severe inflammation of the colon (known as pseudomembranous colitis). It results from bacterial overgrowth in the colon and ranges in severity from mild to life-threatening. Contact your doctor right away if you develop any of the following:
Xifaxan can be taken with food or on an empty stomach. It is best to take it at evenly spaced intervals throughout the day to keep a constant supply in the bloodstream.
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 to continue using Xifaxan.
Do not take Xifaxan if you are allergic to it or if you have ever had an allergic reaction to other rifamycin antibiotics, such as rifabutin, rifampin, and rifapentine.
Xifaxan is only useful in cases of diarrhea that are caused by E. coli. If your symptoms get worse, if you develop new symptoms such as a fever or bloody diarrhea, or if you do not get better within 1 to 2 days, call your doctor right away. You will probably need to stop taking Xifaxan and start a different treatment.
At this time, there are no documented drug interactions with Xifaxan. However, you should always tell the doctor about any medicines you take, including prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal products.
Xifaxan has not been studied in pregnant women and should only be used if the benefits outweigh the potential risks.
It is not known whether Xifaxan appears in human breast milk. If Xifaxan is essential to your health, the doctor may advise you to stop nursing until your treatment is finished.
ADULTS AND CHILDREN 12 YEARS AND OLDER
The usual recommended dose is one 200-milligram tablet taken 3 times a day for 3 days.
Xifaxan has not been studied in children less than 12 years old.
While there is no specific overdose information about Xifaxan, any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.