Rifaximin

Pronunciation

Generic Name: rifaximin (rif-AX-i-min)
Brand Name: Xifaxan

Rifaximin is used for:

Decreasing the risk that hepatic encephalopathy (a serious liver problem) will occur again in patients who have already had it. It may be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Rifaximin is an antibiotic. Exactly how it works to treat hepatic encephalopathy is not known. It is thought to have an effect on the bacteria in the stomach.

Do NOT use rifaximin if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in rifaximin or to a rifamycin antibiotic (eg, rifampin)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using rifaximin:

Some medical conditions may interact with rifaximin. Tell your health care provider if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have severe diarrhea caused by antibiotics (pseudomembranous colitis) or food poisoning
  • if you have diarrhea with a fever or blood in the stool
  • if you have liver problems

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with rifaximin. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Cyclosporine because it may increase the risk of rifaximin's side effects

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if rifaximin may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use rifaximin:

Use rifaximin as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take rifaximin by mouth with or without food.
  • Rifaximin works best if it is taken at the same time each day.
  • Continue to take rifaximin even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of rifaximin, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use rifaximin.

Important safety information:

  • Rifaximin may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use rifaximin with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Mild diarrhea is common with antibiotic use. However, a more serious and sometimes fatal form of diarrhea (pseudomembranous colitis) may rarely occur. This may develop while you use the antibiotic or within several months after you stop using it. Contact your doctor right away if stomach pain or cramps, severe diarrhea, or bloody stools occur. Do not treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor.
  • Long-term or repeated use of rifaximin may cause a second infection. Tell your doctor if signs of a second infection occur. Your medicine may need to be changed to treat this.
  • Be sure to use rifaximin for the full course of treatment. If you do not, the medicine may not clear up your infection completely. The bacteria could also become less sensitive to this or other medicines. This could make infection harder to treat in the future.
  • Use rifaximin with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 18 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using rifaximin while you are pregnant. It is not known if rifaximin is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking rifaximin.

Possible side effects of rifaximin:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Dizziness; gas; headache; nausea; tiredness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty swallowing or breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; flushing; unusual hoarseness); bloody stools; fever; severe diarrhea; severe or persistent tiredness or weakness; shortness of breath; stomach pain or cramping; swelling of the hands, ankles, feet, or stomach.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of rifaximin:

Store rifaximin at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep rifaximin out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about rifaximin, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Rifaximin is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take rifaximin or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about rifaximin. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to rifaximin. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using rifaximin.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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