Rifaximin, an antibiotic used to treat Travelers Diarrhea, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and Hepatic Encephalopathy.
Traveler diarrhea is a gastrointestinal infection. Rifaximin, as an antibiotic and not easily absorbed by the intestine, is widely used to treat the disease.
Irritable bowel syndrome
Rifaximin is approved in the United States for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. It possesses anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and additionally, it is a nonabsorbable antibiotic that acts locally in the gut. These properties make it efficacious in relieving chronic functional symptoms of non-constipation type irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It appears to retain its therapeutic properties for this indication, even after repeated courses. Rifaximin is particularly indicated where small intestine bacterial overgrowth is suspected of involvement in a person’s IBS. Symptom relief or improvement can be obtained for global IBS symptoms including: abdominal pain, flatulence, bloating, and stool consistency.
In the United States, rifaximin has orphan drug status for the treatment of hepatic encephalopathy. Rifaximin is taken by mouth. It has minimal side effects, prevents reoccurring encephalopathy, and is associated with high patient satisfaction. People are more compliant and satisfied to take this medication than any other due to minimal side effects, prolonged remission, and overall cost. It reduces the levels of intestinal ammonia-producing bacteria thus alleviating the symptoms of hepatic encephalopathy and reducing mortality.