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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 24-48 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.

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 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 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 rifaximin can substantially increase the systemic exposure to rifaximin. Caution should be exercised when concomitant use of rifaximin 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 and 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/day (doses equivalent to 2.4 to 4 times the recommended dose of 200 mg three times daily for travelers' diarrhea, and equivalent to 1.3 to 2.2 times the recommended dose of 550 mg twice daily for hepatic encephalopathy, 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/day (doses equivalent to 1.2 to 16 times the recommended daily dose for travelers' diarrhea and equivalent to 0.7 to 9 times the recommended daily dose for hepatic encephalopathy, 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/day, and approximately 2.6 times the clinical dose of 1100 mg/day, adjusted for body surface area).

Use In Specific Populations


Pregnancy Category C

There are no adequate and well controlled studies in pregnant women. Rifaximin has been shown to be teratogenic in rats and rabbits at doses that caused maternal toxicity. XIFAXAN tablets should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Administration of rifaximin to pregnant rats and rabbits at dose levels that caused reduced body weight gain resulted in eye malformations in both rat and rabbit fetuses. Additional malformations were observed in fetal rabbits that included cleft palate, lumbar scoliosis, brachygnathia, interventricular septal defect, and large atrium.

The fetal rat malformations were observed in a study of pregnant rats administered a high dose that resulted in 16 times the therapeutic dose to diarrheic patients or 1 times the therapeutic dose to patients with hepatic encephalopathy (based upon plasma AUC comparisons). Fetal rabbit malformations were observed from pregnant rabbits administered mid and high doses that resulted in 1 or 2 times the therapeutic dose to diarrheic patients or less than 0.1 times the dose in patients with hepatic encephalopathy, based upon plasma AUC comparisons.

Post-natal developmental effects were not observed in rat pups from pregnant/lactating female rats dosed during the period from gestation to Day 20 post-partum at the highest dose which resulted in approximately 16 times the human therapeutic dose for travelers' diarrhea (based upon AUCs) or approximately 1 times the AUCs derived from therapeutic doses to patients with hepatic encephalopathy.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether rifaximin is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for adverse reactions in nursing infants from XIFAXAN, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness of XIFAXAN 200 mg in pediatric patients with travelers' diarrhea less than 12 years of age have not been established. The safety and effectiveness of XIFAXAN 550 mg for HE have not been established in patients < 18 years of age.

Geriatric Use

Clinical studies with rifaximin 200 mg for travelers' diarrhea did not include sufficient numbers of patients aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently than younger subjects.

In the controlled trial with XIFAXAN 550 mg for hepatic encephalopathy, 19.4% were 65 and over, while 2.3% were 75 and over. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger subjects, and 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-, 13-, and 20-fold higher in those patients with mild (Child-Pugh A), moderate (Child-Pugh B) and severe (Child-Pugh 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 and Clinical Studies].

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/28/2014
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.


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