This medication is used to treat diarrhea caused by the common bacteria known as E. coli ("traveler's diarrhea"). Rifaximin should not be used if you have a fever or bloody diarrhea. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.
This antibiotic treats only bacterial infections. It will not work for viral infections (such as common cold, flu). Unnecessary use or misuse of any antibiotic can lead to its decreased effectiveness.
Rifaximin is also used to treat irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea. It is also used to prevent a brain problem caused by liver disease (hepatic encephalopathy). It may help you think more clearly.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking rifaximin and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
To treat traveler's diarrhea, take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually 3 times a day for 3 days.
To prevent hepatic encephalopathy, take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually 2 times a day.
Antibiotics work best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals.
For traveler's diarrhea, continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too early may result in a return of the infection.
Tell your doctor if you are still having diarrhea after 1 to 2 days, if you have bloody diarrhea, or if you have a fever along with the diarrhea. Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
This medication may rarely cause a severe intestinal condition (Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea) due to a type of resistant bacteria. This condition may occur during treatment or weeks to months after treatment has stopped. Tell your doctor right away if you develop: persistent diarrhea, abdominal or stomach pain/cramping, blood/mucus in your stool.
Do not use anti-diarrhea products or narcotic pain medications if you have any of these symptoms because these products may make them worse.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
In the US -
Before taking rifaximin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other rifamycins (rifampin, rifabutin); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history.
Rifaximin may cause live bacterial vaccines (such as typhoid vaccine) not to work as well. Therefore, do not have any immunizations/vaccinations while using this medication without the consent of your doctor.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Although most antibiotics probably do not affect hormonal birth control such as pills, patch, or ring, some antibiotics may decrease their effectiveness. This could cause pregnancy. Examples include rifamycins such as rifampin or rifabutin. Be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist if you should use additional reliable birth control methods while using this antibiotic.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not use it later for another infection unless your doctor directs you to do so. A different medication may be necessary in that case.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised May 2015. Copyright(c) 2015 First Databank, Inc.
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