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HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
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).
Using any antibiotic when it is not needed can cause it to not work for future infections. 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 (every 8 hours) for 3 days.
To treat irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea, take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually 3 times a day for 14 days. To prevent hepatic encephalopathy, take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually 2 times a day (every 12 hours). For the best effect, take this antibiotic at evenly spaced times. To help you remember, take this medication at the same time(s) every day.
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 or opioid 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. This is not a complete list of possible side effects.
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) to not work as well.
Do not have any immunizations/vaccinations while using this medication unless your doctor tells you to. 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. It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor’s approval. Although most antibiotics are unlikely to affect hormonal birth control such as pills, patch, or ring, a few antibiotics (such as rifampin, rifabutin) can decrease their effectiveness. This could result in pregnancy. If you use hormonal birth control, ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
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.
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. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
RIFAXIMIN – ORAL