Rifaximin (Xifaxan) is an antibiotic that treats diarrhea caused by a bacteria call E. coli. This medicine stays in the digestive system to fight infection only in the intestines.

How should it be used?

This medicine comes in a tablet.

  • Take by mouth with or without food
  • It is usually taken three times a day for 3 days.
  • Take all of the medicine until the prescription is gone even if you are feeling better. If you stop taking the medicine too soon, you may not kill all of the bacteria and it can come back.
  • If your condition does not improve within 24-48 hours of starting this medicine, call your doctor.

Special Precautions/Instructions

Before you start to take this medicine tell your doctor about any of the following:

  • All of the medications (including over the counter), vitamins, herbal products, and supplements that you are taking.
  • If you are allergic to this medicine or anything in this medicine:
    -rifaximin, colloidal silicon dioxide, disodium edetate, glycerol palmitosterate, hypromellose, microcrystalline cellulose, propylene glycol, red iron oxide, sodium starch glycolate, talc, and titanium dioxide.
  • If you are allergic to any antibiotics known as “rifamycins.”
  • If you have the following symptoms: persistent, low-grade abdominal discomfort and nausea, mild diarrhea with blood and mucus, and sometime tenderness over the liver (dysentery).
  • Have a fever and/or bloody stools.
  • Are pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or breastfeeding.

Side Effects

The most common side effects include: flatulence (gas), headache, stomach pain, sensations of needing to empty the bowel, urgent bowel movements, nausea, constipation, fever, or vomiting.

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience signs of an allergic reaction including:

  • Diarrhea
  • Feeling sick
  • Fever, shivering/chills, rash
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Kidney problems (changes in the amount of urine or color of urine)
  • Tiredness, dizziness
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Trouble breathing

Storage Conditions

This medication should be stored at room temperature.


Call the national poison control center 1-800-222-1222 or 911 in the event of overdose. Symptoms of an overdose include vomiting, diarrhea, sore throat, fever, chills, and other signs of infection.

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