Xifaxan: Uses & Side Effects

Xifaxan (rifaximin) is an antibiotic that fights bacterial infection only in the intestines.

Rifaximin works differently from other antibiotics because it passes through your stomach and into your intestines without being absorbed into your blood stream. Because rifaximin treats only the intestinal tract, it will not treat infections of other parts of the body.

Xifaxan is used to treat travelers’ diarrhea caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli) in adults and children who are at least 12 years old. Most people get this infection by eating food or drinking fluids that have been contaminated with the E. coli bacteria.

Xifaxan is also used to treat irritable bowel syndrome in adults whose main symptom is diarrhea.

Xifaxan is also used to lower the risk of worsened brain function in adults with liver failure. Brain function can be affected when the liver stops working and cannot remove toxic substances from the body.


Before taking this medicine

You should not take Xifaxan if you are allergic to rifaximin, rifabutin, rifampin, or rifapentine.

To make sure Xifaxan is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • liver disease;
  • diarrhea with a fever; or
  • watery or bloody diarrhea.

It is not known whether Xifaxan will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It is not known whether rifaximin passes into breast milk or if it could affect the nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.

Xifaxan should not be given to a child younger than 12 years old.


Side effects

Stop using Xifaxan and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe stomach pain, diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
  • fever; or
  • rapid weight gain, especially in your face and midsection.

Common Xifaxan side effects may include:

  • swelling in your hands, feet, or midsection;
  • nausea;
  • headache, dizziness;
  • tired feeling; or
  • abnormal liver function tests.


Keywords: xifaxan; rifaximin.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.