Xifaxan vs. Lactulose

Are Xifaxan and Lactulose the Same Thing?

Xifaxan (rifaximin) and lactulose solution are used to treat or prevent complications of liver disease (hepatic encephalopathy).

Xifaxan is also used to treat patients 12 years of age and older with travelers' diarrhea caused by noninvasive strains of Escherichia coli (E. coli).

Lactulose solution is also used to treat chronic constipation.

Xifaxan and lactulose belong to different drug classes. Xifaxan is an antibiotic and lactulose solution is a synthetic disaccharide, which is a type of laxative.

Side effects of Xifaxan and lactulose that are similar include nausea, vomiting, bloating, gas, and stomach pain or discomfort.

Side effects of Xifaxan that are different from lactulose include constipation, feeling like you need to urgently empty your bowel, feeling your bowel is not completely empty, headache, dizziness, tired feeling, and swelling in your hands, feet, or torso.

Side effects of that are different from Xifaxan include diarrhea and belching.

Xifaxan may interact with cyclosporine, ketoconazole, warfarin, antibiotics, antiviral medicines, and heart or blood pressure medicines.

Lactulose may interact with antacids.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Xifaxan?

Side effects of Xifaxan include:

  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • constipation,
  • bloating,
  • gas,
  • stomach pain,
  • feeling like you need to urgently empty your bowel,
  • feeling your bowel is not completely empty,
  • headache,
  • dizziness,
  • tired feeling, or
  • swelling in your hands, feet, or torso.

Tell your doctor if you develop serious side effects of Xifaxan including:

What Are Possible Side Effects of Lactulose?

Common side effects of Lactulose include:

  • diarrhea,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • bloating,
  • gas,
  • belching, and
  • stomach pain or discomfort.

What Is Xifaxan?

Xifaxan (rifaximin) is an antibiotic indicated for the treatment of patients 12 years of age and older with travelers' diarrhea caused by noninvasive strains of Escherichia coli (E. coli), and to lower the risk of worsened brain function, or hepatic encephalopathy, in adults with liver failure.

What Is Lactulose?

Lactulose solution is a synthetic disaccharide, a type of sugar that is broken down in the large intestine into mild acids that draw water into the colon, which helps soften the stools. Lactulose solution is used to treat chronic constipation. Lactulose solution is also used to treat or prevent complications of liver disease (hepatic encephalopathy). Lactulose solution is available in generic form.

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What Drugs Interact With Xifaxan?

Xifaxan may interact with other drugs. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.

What Drugs Interact With Lactulose?

Lactulose solution may interact with antacids. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Lactulose solution is not expected to be harmful to a fetus. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment with lactulose solution. It is unknown if lactulose solution passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Our Lactulose solution Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

Lactulose may also interact with other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold or allergy medicine, sedatives, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, or anxiety), digoxin, metoclopramide, atropine, belladonna, benztropine, dimenhydrinate, methscopolamine, scopolamine, bronchodilators, bladder or urinary medications, heart rhythm medications, irritable bowel medications, nitrates, steroids, or ulcer medications.

How Should Xifaxan Be Taken?

Xifaxan (rifaximin) tablets for oral administration are film-coated and contain 200 or 550 mg of rifaximin. Usual dosage is 200 mg three times a day for three days for diarrhea and 550mg twice a day for 3 days for hepatic encephalopathy.

How Should Lactulose Be Taken?

The usual adult, oral dosage of lactulose solution is 2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 mL, containing 20 g to 30 g of lactulose) three or four times daily.

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References

Salix Pharmaceuticals. Xifaxan Drug Information.
https://www.xifaxan.com
DailyMed. Lactulose Product Information.
https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=7016bd71-c667-46fc-8c56-5023682e8bbe

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