Xifaxan (Rifaximin) 200-mg tablets are used to treat traveler's diarrhea caused by certain bacteria in adults and children at least 12 years of age. Rifaximin 550-mg tablets are used to prevent episodes of hepatic encephalopathy (changes in thinking, behavior, and personality caused by a build-up of toxins in the brain in people who have liver disease) in adults who have liver disease and to treat irritable bowel syndrome (with diarrhea) in adults. Rifaximin is in a class of medications called antibiotics. Rifaximin treats traveler's diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome by stopping the growth of the bacteria that cause diarrhea. Rifaximin treats hepatic encephalopathy by stopping the growth of bacteria that produce toxins and that may worsen liver disease. Rifaximin will not work to treat traveler's diarrhea that is bloody or occurs with a fever. Antibiotics such as rifaximin will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections. Taking antibiotics when they are not needed increases your risk of getting an infection later that resists antibiotic treatment. Both Xifaxan the Brand name and its generic alternative, Rifaximin, are available for purchase.
Rifaximin comes as a tablet to take by mouth with or without food.
For adults and children at least 12 years of age only:
If you are taking rifaximin to treat traveler's diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome and you stop taking it too soon or if you skip doses, your infection may not be completely cured and the bacteria may become resistant to antibiotics.
To help you remember to take rifaximin, take it around the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take rifaximin exactly as directed, even if you feel better. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
If your condition doesn’t improve or worsens, let your physician know immediately.
Rifaximin may cause side effects including:
Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away.
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
Rifaximin may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
Q: Why is Xifaxan prescribed?
A: Xifaxan is an antibiotic that fights bacterial infection only in the intestines.
Q: Does Xifaxan have a generic alternative?
A: Yes, Rifaximin is available for purchase if you choose.
Q: How long until I see the effects of Xifaxan?
A: Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Take Xifaxan for the full prescribed length of time. Stopping the medication too early may result in a return of the infection.
Q: What if I miss a dose of Xifaxan?
A: Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Q: How should I store this medication?
A: Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).