May 31, 2016
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Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.


Travelers' Diarrhea Not Caused By Escherichia coli

XIFAXAN was not found to be effective in patients with diarrhea complicated by fever and/or blood in the stool or diarrhea due to pathogens other than Escherichia coli.

Discontinue XIFAXAN if diarrhea symptoms get worse or persist more than 24 to 48 hours and alternative antibiotic therapy should be considered.

XIFAXAN is not effective in cases of travelers' diarrhea due to Campylobacter jejuni. The effectiveness of XIFAXAN in travelers' diarrhea caused by Shigella spp. and Salmonella spp. has not been proven. XIFAXAN should not be used in patients where Campylobacter jejuni, Shigella spp., or Salmonella spp. may be suspected as causative pathogens [see INDICATIONS AND USAGE].

Clostridium Difficile-Associated Diarrhea

Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD) has been reported with use of nearly all antibacterial agents, including XIFAXAN, and may range in severity from mild diarrhea to fatal colitis. Treatment with antibacterial agents alters the normal flora of the colon which may lead to overgrowth of C. difficile.

C. difficile produces toxins A and B which contribute to the development of CDAD. Hypertoxin producing strains of C. difficile cause increased morbidity and mortality, as these infections can be refractory to antimicrobial therapy and may require colectomy. CDAD must be considered in all patients who present with diarrhea following antibiotic use. Careful medical history is necessary since CDAD has been reported to occur over two months after the administration of antibacterial agents.

If CDAD is suspected or confirmed, ongoing antibiotic use not directed against C. difficile may need to be discontinued. Appropriate fluid and electrolyte management, protein supplementation, antibiotic treatment of C. difficile, and surgical evaluation should be instituted as clinically indicated.

Development Of Drug-Resistant Bacteria

Prescribing XIFAXAN for travelers' diarrhea in the absence of a proven or strongly suspected bacterial infection or a prophylactic indication is unlikely to provide benefit to the patient and increases the risk of the development of drug-resistant bacteria.

Severe (Child-Pugh Class C) Hepatic Impairment

There is increased systemic exposure in patients with severe hepatic impairment. The clinical trials were limited to patients with MELD scores < 25. Therefore, caution should be exercised when administering XIFAXAN to patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh Class C) [see Use in Specific Populations and Clinical Studies].

Concomitant Use With P-glycoprotein Inhibitors

Concomitant administration of drugs that are P-glycoprotein inhibitors with XIFAXAN can substantially increase the systemic exposure to rifaximin. Caution should be exercised when concomitant use of XIFAXAN and a P-glycoprotein inhibitor such as cyclosporine is needed. In patients with hepatic impairment, a potential additive effect of reduced metabolism and concomitant P-glycoprotein inhibitors may further increase the systemic exposure to rifaximin [see DRUG INTERACTIONS, Pharmacokinetics].

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility

Malignant schwannomas in the heart were significantly increased in male Crl:CD® (SD) rats that received rifaximin by oral gavage for two years at 150 to 250 mg/kg per day (doses equivalent to 2.4 to 4 times the recommended dose of 200 mg three times daily for TD, and equivalent to 1.3 to 2.2 times the recommended dose of 550 mg twice daily for HE, based on relative body surface area comparisons). There was no increase in tumors in Tg.rasH2 mice dosed orally with rifaximin for 26 weeks at 150 to 2000 mg/kg per day (doses equivalent to 1.2 to 16 times the recommended daily dose for TD and equivalent to 0.7 to 9 times the recommended daily dose for HE, based on relative body surface area comparisons).

Rifaximin was not genotoxic in the bacterial reverse mutation assay, chromosomal aberration assay, rat bone marrow micronucleus assay, rat hepatocyte unscheduled DNA synthesis assay, or the CHO/HGPRT mutation assay. There was no effect on fertility in male or female rats following the administration of rifaximin at doses up to 300 mg/kg (approximately 5 times the clinical dose of 600 mg per day for TD, and approximately 2.6 times the clinical dose of 1100 mg per day for HE, adjusted for body surface area).

Use In Specific Populations


Risk Summary

There are no available data on XIFAXAN use in pregnant women to inform any drug associated risks. Teratogenic effects were observed in animal reproduction studies following administration of rifaximin to pregnant rats and rabbits during organogenesis at doses approximately 0.9 to 5 times and 0.7 to 33 times, respectively of the recommended human doses of 600 mg to 1650 mg per day. In rabbits, ocular, oral and maxillofacial, cardiac, and lumbar spine malformations were observed. Ocular malformations were observed in both rats and rabbits at doses that caused reduced maternal body weight gain [see Data]. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2 to 4% and 15 to 20%, respectively. Advise pregnant women of the potential risk to a fetus.


Animal Data

Rifaximin was teratogenic in rats at doses of 150 to 300 mg/kg (approximately 2.5 to 5 times the recommended dose for TD [600 mg per day], and approximately 1.3 to 2.6 times the recommended dose for HE [1100 mg per day], and approximately 0.9 to 1.8 times the recommended dose for IBS-D [1650 mg per day] adjusted for body surface area). Rifaximin was teratogenic in rabbits at doses of 62.5 to 1000 mg/kg (approximately 2 to 33 times the recommended dose for TD [600 mg per day], and approximately 1.1 to 18 times the recommended dose for HE [1100 mg per day], and approximately 0.7 to 12 times the recommended dose for IBS-D [1650 mg per day] adjusted for body surface area). These effects include cleft palate, agnathia, jaw shortening, hemorrhage, eye partially open, small eyes, brachygnathia, incomplete ossification, and increased thoracolumbar vertebrae.

A pre and postnatal development study in rats showed no evidence of any adverse effect on pre and postnatal development at oral doses of rifaximin up to 300 mg/kg per day (approximately 5 times the recommended dose for TD [600 mg per day], and approximately 2.6 times the recommended dose for HE [1100 mg per day], and approximately 1.8 times the recommended dose for IBS-D [1650 mg per day] adjusted for body surface area).


Risk Summary

There is no information regarding the presence of rifaximin in human milk, the effects of rifaximin on the breastfed infant, or the effects of rifaximin on milk production. The development and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother's clinical need for XIFAXAN and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from XIFAXAN or from the underlying maternal condition.

Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness of XIFAXAN has not been established in pediatric patients less than 12 years of age with TD or in patients less than 18 years of age for HE and IBS-D.

Geriatric Use

Of the total number of patients in the clinical study of XIFAXAN for HE, 19% of patients were 65 and over, while 2% were 75 and over. In the clinical studies of IBS-D, 11% of patients were 65 and over, while 2% were 75 and over. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger subjects for either indication. Clinical studies with XIFAXAN for TD did not include sufficient numbers of patients aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently than younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.

Renal Impairment

The pharmacokinetics of rifaximin in patients with impaired renal function has not been studied.

Hepatic Impairment

Following administration of XIFAXAN 550 mg twice daily to patients with a history of hepatic encephalopathy, the systemic exposure (i.e., AUCτ) of rifaximin was about 10-, 14-, and 21-fold higher in those patients with mild (Child-Pugh Class A), moderate (Child-Pugh Class B) and severe (Child-Pugh Class C) hepatic impairment, respectively, compared to that in healthy volunteers. No dosage adjustment is recommended because rifaximin is presumably acting locally. Nonetheless, caution should be exercised when XIFAXAN is administered to patients with severe hepatic impairment [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, Clinical Studies].

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 1/12/2016


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