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Rifaximin (Oral route)

Pronunciation:

rif-AX-i-min

Brand Names:

  • Xifaxan

Dosage Forms:

  • Tablet

Classifications:

Therapeutic—

Antibiotic

Chemical—

Rifamycin

Uses of This Medicine:

Rifaximin is used to treat traveler's diarrhea that is caused by a bacteria called Escherichia coli. It is also used to prevent hepatic encephalopathy, which is a condition that occurs when your liver does not work normally. Rifaximin is an antibiotic that works by killing the bacteria and preventing its growth. However, this medicine will not work for colds, flu, or other virus infections.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using This Medicine:

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies—

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Children—

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of rifaximin in children younger than 12 years of age with traveler's diarrhea. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of rifaximin in children with hepatic encephalopathy. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Older adults—

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of rifaximin in the elderly.

Pregnancy—

Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersCAnimal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.

Breast-feeding—

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Other medicines—

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other interactions—

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems—

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Diarrhea and blood in the stool or
  • Diarrhea and fever or
  • Diarrhea caused by antibiotics or
  • Diarrhea not caused by Escherichia coli—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.

Proper Use of This Medicine:

Take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.

To help clear up your infection completely, keep taking this medicine for the full time of treatment, even if you begin to feel better after a few days. If you stop taking this medicine too soon, your infection may return.

You may take this medicine with or without food.

Dosing—

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For diarrhea:
      • Adults and children 12 years of age and older—200 milligrams (mg) 3 times per day for 3 days.
      • Children under 12 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For preventing hepatic encephalopathy:
      • Adults—550 milligrams (mg) 2 times per day.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed dose—

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage—

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

It is very important that your doctor check the progress of you or your child to see if the medicine is working properly. This will allow your doctor to decide if you or your child should continue to take it.

Check with your doctor right away if the diarrhea does not stop in 1 or 2 days or if you or your child develop a fever or have blood in your stool.

A person can become dehydrated if too much fluid is lost from the body with diarrhea. Make sure you or your child drink plenty of fluids while you have diarrhea. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have more than one of the following symptoms: decreased urination, dizziness, dry mouth, increased thirst, or lightheadedness.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
Black, tarry stools
dizziness or lightheadedness
muscle spasm
rapid breathing
shortness of breath
sleeplessness
trouble sleeping
unable to sleep
Less common
Blood in urine
bloody nose
chest pain
continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears
fainting
feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
increased heart rate
sensation of spinning
sunken eyes
ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
unusual bleeding or bruising
unusual tiredness or weakness
Incidence not known
Cracks in the skin
hives or welts
itching skin
large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
loss of heat from the body
rash
red, swollen skin scaly skin
redness of skin

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
Bloated
difficulty in moving
dizziness
excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
fever
frequent urge to defecate
full feeling
headache
lower back or side pain
muscle pain or stiffness
pain in joints
passing gas
stomach pain
straining while passing stool
swelling of the hands, ankles, feet, or lower legs
Less common
Abnormal dreams
blurred vision
chills
confusion
cough
decreased urination
difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
dry lips
dry mouth
ear pain
feeling of warmth
hearing loss
lightheadedness
loss of appetite
loss of taste
nausea
painful or difficult urination
pale skin
redness of the face, neck, arms and occasionally, upper chest
sore throat
sweating
swollen glands
thirst
vomiting
wrinkled skin

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Last Updated: 4/4/2014

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