Xifaxan: Uses, Side Effects, and Mor


Xifaxan, also known as rifaximin 550, is an antibiotic medication used to treat bacterial infections in the gut, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and hepatic encephalopathy. This medication works by killing harmful bacteria in the gut, while leaving beneficial bacteria intact. In this blog post, we will explore the uses, potential side effects, and frequently asked questions about Xifaxan.

Uses of Xifaxan

Xifaxan is commonly used to treat travelers’ diarrhea caused by E. coli, as well as to prevent the recurrence of episodes of hepatic encephalopathy, a condition that affects people with liver disease. Xifaxan is also FDA-approved to treat IBS with diarrhea in adults, reducing the symptoms of bloating, abdominal pain, and loose stools.

Additionally, some doctors may prescribe Xifaxan off-label to treat other conditions such as small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and diverticulitis.

How to Take Xifaxan

Xifaxan comes in tablet form and is typically taken by mouth, with or without food. The recommended dose for most conditions is one tablet (550 mg) taken three times per day for 14 days. For hepatic encephalopathy, the duration of treatment may be longer.

It is important to take Xifaxan exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not stop taking the medication early, even if you feel better, as this may increase the risk of developing antibiotic-resistant infections.

Potential Side Effects

Like any medication, Xifaxan can cause side effects, although they are generally mild and resolve on their own. Common side effects of Xifaxan may include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
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Rarely, Xifaxan may cause more serious side effects such as allergic reactions or liver damage. If you experience any symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as difficulty breathing, swelling of the face or throat, or hives, seek medical attention immediately. If you experience symptoms such as dark urine, yellowing of the skin or eyes, or abdominal pain, contact your doctor right away.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can Xifaxan be used to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs)?

A: No, Xifaxan is not typically used to treat UTIs. It is more commonly used to treat infections in the gut.

Q: Can Xifaxan be taken with other medications?

A: Xifaxan may interact with certain medications, including blood thinners and medications that are broken down by the liver. It is important to tell your doctor about all medications you are taking before starting Xifaxan.

Q: Is Xifaxan safe during pregnancy?

A: The safety of Xifaxan during pregnancy has not been established. It is important to talk to your doctor before taking any medication during pregnancy.

Q: How long does it take for Xifaxan to start working?

A: Xifaxan may start working within a few days of starting treatment, although it may take up to two weeks to see the full effects.

Q: Is Xifaxan available over-the-counter?

A: No, Xifaxan requires a prescription from a doctor.

Q: Can Xifaxan be used for children?

A: Xifaxan has not been studied extensively in children and is generally not recommended for use in children under 12 years of age.

Q: Can Xifaxan cause yeast infections?

A: Xifaxan is not known to cause yeast infections, although it may disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the gut, which could potentially lead to an overgrowth of yeast. If you experience symptoms such as itching, burning, or discharge, contact your doctor.

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Q: How much does Xifaxan cost?

A: The cost of Xifaxan can vary depending on factors such as insurance coverage and pharmacy location. Without insurance, the average cost of Xifaxan can range from $1,200 to $1,500 for a 14-day supply.

Q: Are there any dietary restrictions while taking Xifaxan?

A: There are no specific dietary restrictions while taking Xifaxan. However, it is important to maintain a healthy, balanced diet to support overall gut health.

Overall, Xifaxan is a medication that can be used to treat a variety of gut-related conditions. It is generally well-tolerated and effective, although it may cause mild side effects. If you have any concerns or questions about Xifaxan, it is important to talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

In conclusion, Xifaxan is an antibiotic medication used to treat bacterial infections in the gut, IBS, and hepatic encephalopathy. It is generally safe and effective when taken as prescribed, although it may cause mild side effects. If you are interested in taking Xifaxan, it is important to talk to your doctor to see if it is right for you.

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