Rifaximin is a prominent antibiotic often prescribed to treat specific bacterial infections within the intestines. It’s especially renowned for treating travelers’ diarrhea caused by the E. coli bacteria. Moreover, rifaximin is beneficial in managing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and liver disease, preventing hepatic encephalopathy, a condition where the liver fails to remove toxins from the blood.
Rifaximin Drug Class
Classifying rifaximin, it belongs to a group of drugs known as antibiotics, specifically within the class of rifamycin antimicrobials. This classification signifies its potency against a broad spectrum of bacteria without being absorbed significantly into the bloodstream.
The dosage of rifaximin often depends on the condition being treated:
For travelers’ diarrhea: 200 mg three times daily for three days.
Hepatic encephalopathy: 550 mg twice daily, taken as directed by a healthcare professional.
IBS: Typically, 550 mg three times daily for 14 days.
Always adhere to a physician’s prescription, and it’s crucial to complete the entire treatment course, even if symptoms improve.
Rifaximin side effects
As with most medications, rifaximin may have potential side effects. Common ones include:
Gas or bloating
It’s important to consult a doctor if any of these side effects persist or become bothersome. Rarer but more severe side effects include allergic reactions, blood disorders, or liver changes.
Before starting rifaximin, inform your doctor about any allergies or pre-existing medical conditions. The drug might react with certain illnesses, potentially worsening them. It’s also prudent to discuss potential impacts if you’re pregnant, planning to be, or breastfeeding.
Rifaximin may interact with other medications or supplements, potentially nullifying or enhancing their effects. Significant interactions can occur with drugs like warfarin, cyclosporine, or oral contraceptives. Always maintain a comprehensive list of all medications and share it with your healthcare provider to prevent adverse reactions.
While an overdose of rifaximin is rare due to its limited absorption into the bloodstream, if suspected, immediate medical attention is crucial. Symptoms might encompass extreme dizziness, persistent vomiting, or severe stomach pain.
Rifaximin Cost and Price
The cost of rifaximin might fluctuate depending on factors like location, insurance, and specific pharmacies. Currently, the price for a typical prescription of rifaximin 550 mg can range widely, but patients can sometimes find discounts or promotional prices. To ensure affordability, it’s advisable to check with local pharmacies or look for online deals and discounts.
Rifaximin stands as a robust and versatile antibiotic, instrumental in treating a range of conditions, from travelers’ diarrhea to more severe liver-related ailments. As always, while it’s beneficial to be informed, always consult with a healthcare professional regarding its usage, potential side effects, and interactions.