Is Rifaximin (Xifaxan) available in Canada?

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Brad P
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 3/5/2010 8:52 AM (GMT -7)   
I called 2 drug stores and they never heard of it. Is this available in Canada?

I am sure my GI mentioned this drug as an option on my last visit.

Thanks
CD since Fall 1987
Small Bowel Cancer - Sept 2008
Surgery to remove tumor - Oct 1st, 2008
Chemo - Dec 2008 to May 2009
Jan 2010 - NED


Terry73
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 3/5/2010 9:10 AM (GMT -7)   
im from canada never heard of it before but just looked it up online and it is suppose to be. Says it is for travelers D
Offically diagnosed with Crohn's Oct 2009, been living with bowel problems since 1990
Current meds: Remicade Feb 2010, Immuran, rel-pax, Topomax, Corticosteriod Suppositories, lantus, humalog, 2000u vit d, calcium, multivit, omega 3, Vit B


dms40
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 3/5/2010 9:21 AM (GMT -7)   
yes, definitely, I asked my sons GI about it (at Vancouver Childrens hospital), he said that he has prescribed it, but his opinion was that it works for some people, but even those that it did work for symptoms come back after a few months.   - again that's his opinion.

Brad P
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 3/5/2010 9:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the replies all.
CD since Fall 1987
Small Bowel Cancer - Sept 2008
Surgery to remove tumor - Oct 1st, 2008
Chemo - Dec 2008 to May 2009
Jan 2010 - NED


Zanne
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 3/5/2010 10:00 AM (GMT -7)   
I am from the States and take it as one of my maintenance drugs. It works for me. I think I remember one of our regular posters saying that it wasn't available in Canada so I am not sure of the status. Hopefully they will be along shortly and see this post. As for it working, it seems that it either works for you or it doesn't, but it doesn't seem to 'wear off', or at least not for me.
Suzanne

CD 20 years officially, 30 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Managing with strict low residue diet, keeping symptoms to a minimum. All test show small amount of ulceration, still have occasional blockages. But still have a great time with my 2 daughters and husband!


Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....


Brad P
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 3/5/2010 11:51 AM (GMT -7)   
I can't find a DIN for it on Health Canada's website. If anyone has a DIN for this, can they post it up?

Thanks!
CD since Fall 1987
Small Bowel Cancer - Sept 2008
Surgery to remove tumor - Oct 1st, 2008
Chemo - Dec 2008 to May 2009
Jan 2010 - NED


Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 3/5/2010 12:54 PM (GMT -7)   
BradP I googled is Rifaximin available in Canada and below is what popped up. Not sure if it will be helpful or not.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=is+rifaximin+available+in+canada&aq=0&aqi=g1&aql=&oq=Is+Rifaximin+a

In the first listing it has a phone number in Canada you can call.  Hope that helps.  And I hope you can find it, its works well for me.  Hugs~!


Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease & Anxiety/Panic
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Rider Fan
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1445
   Posted 3/5/2010 2:09 PM (GMT -7)   
I've contacted the maker of Rifaximin and they told me it's not available in Canada nor do they have any plans to make it so.
33 y/o male. Dx'ed in 1999. No surgeries.

Current meds: Humira 2/27/09. Proferrin iron pills.

Tried SCD, didn't work, now avoiding gluten and dairy.


Go Saskatchewan Roughriders!


Brad P
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 3/5/2010 4:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Rider Fan said...
I've contacted the maker of Rifaximin and they told me it's not available in Canada nor do they have any plans to make it so.


Well that sucks then cry
CD since Fall 1987
Small Bowel Cancer - Sept 2008
Surgery to remove tumor - Oct 1st, 2008
Chemo - Dec 2008 to May 2009
Jan 2010 - NED


Rider Fan
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1445
   Posted 3/5/2010 8:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, tell me about it.

If you are really interested in trying it, talk to your GI or call Health Canada and inquire about the Special Access Program. I'm not sure if this drug is included but it's worth a shot.

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/acces/drugs-drogues/index-eng.php
33 y/o male. Dx'ed in 1999. No surgeries.

Current meds: Humira 2/27/09. Proferrin iron pills.

Tried SCD, didn't work, now avoiding gluten and dairy.


Go Saskatchewan Roughriders!


Avuncular
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/17/2010 12:06 PM (GMT -7)   
My partner has been on Rifaximin for the last 4 months to help control ammonia in his system due to liver disease.  It has worked wonders, unfortunately, it is not available in Canada.   We have to drive to the States every 2 months to pick up his prescription at a cost of $1000 US per month.  I have been in contact with the company which manufactures Rifaximin, Salix Pharmaceuticals, and so far it doesn't look like they will be coming to Canada.  I don't know how long we can continue paying for this.
 
Avuncular

Rider Fan
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1445
   Posted 8/17/2010 6:19 PM (GMT -7)   
OMG that is a crazy medical bill. Yes they told me in no uncertain terms that they aren't interested in Canadians. Have you tried the special access program? That might make it pharmacare eligible.
33 y/o male. Dx'ed in 1999. No surgeries.

Current meds: Humira 2/27/09. Proferrin iron pills.

Reduced gluten and dairy.


Go Saskatchewan Roughriders!

Avuncular
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/17/2010 6:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Rider Fan,
 
We already tried with Health Canada and the Ontario Government and were turned down.  The company has to make an application to the government to sell the drug here.
 
 

Rider Fan
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1445
   Posted 8/17/2010 7:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Too bad. :(
33 y/o male. Dx'ed in 1999. No surgeries.

Current meds: Humira 2/27/09. Proferrin iron pills.

Reduced gluten and dairy.


Go Saskatchewan Roughriders!

killcolitis
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 2396
   Posted 2/1/2012 3:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Any updates with this drug? anyone try it with success? if so, where is your disease located? My daughter's ped GI mentioned it and said it was "intriguing" but we can not get it here. Before I spend a lot of time, energy and money pulling every string I've got to try it, I'd appreciate any feedback?
TIA.

Sloth
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2004
Total Posts : 207
   Posted 2/1/2012 4:05 PM (GMT -7)   
I have been on Rifaximin for about two years now (consistently - I had been on it off and on before that). It does/did work for me, but it doesn't kill a flare dead - it takes about a week to kick-in, and was a month or two before it really, really did more for me. My disease, when I started the drug, was everywhere from the terminal ileum down.

I started on two 250mg tablets 3x a day, am currently at the same dose 2x a day. My doctor is a bit twitchy about how long I've been on it (no long-term studies), and we've discussed coming off of it - I am currently flaring (but it's mild in terms of symptoms - waiting on the scope report from last week to know the real extent of inflammation), so I don't know what we'll be doing. To be honest, while it has helped me (before I took it long-term, my symptoms came roaring back within 1-2 weeks of stopping the medication), I'm not sure if it's helping me now (I am also on Imuran, have been on that for over 7 years).

Previous studies that I have seen regarding this drug and IBD suggest that for most patients, this drug has a limited lifespan in terms of efficacy - most who get relief relapse in 8 months, on average (I do not have the link - I looked this up nearly two years ago...the data may be different now).

I do take Florastor with it, as there's a slight risk of C. diff (as there is with any antibiotic that isn't Flagyl or Vancocin). As far as side effects, I haven't really had any, beyond some serious bloating when I start it (I assume from the die-off of gut flora).

Hope this helps. It certainly isn't a cheap drug (I am in the US and have prescription coverage - without it, it would run about $600/month).

killcolitis
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 2396
   Posted 2/1/2012 4:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sloth,
Thanks for the info. I just found out it's available in Europe, so my in-laws will send it to us tomorrow. Cost? about 50Euros/month. Don't know why it's so expensive in the US? I guess we'll see when we get it. Sorry it's stopped working for you and hope you get out of your flare asap!

mastersmom
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 2/1/2012 6:03 PM (GMT -7)   
My daughter originally took Xifaxan in a low dosage and it really seemed to help but the GI she had at the time was afraid to continue with it. I had read that she really needed a higher dose and for a longer period of time to hope for any effects for CD. She then tried the anti-map, 3 antibiotic cocktail from another GI but she had to discontinue it after a time because it lowered her white blood count. He suggested she continue with Xifaxan again at a higher dosage--2 tablets 3 times a day. Salix has programs for people that can not afford the medication if you have no insurance but because she has $500/year coverage for medication, she was ineligible. Luckily, a doctor was able to work with one of the sales reps to get samples for her for about 6 months. That was 2 years ago and she is still in remission.

The studies on this drug are difficult to rely on because they all give different doses for different lengths of time.

killcolitis
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 2396
   Posted 2/1/2012 6:24 PM (GMT -7)   
mastermom ,thanks and i'm so happy for your daughter. did the map treatment put her in remission or the xiafan?
Do you mind me asking where her CD was? My daughter has a UC dx but is young and it can change (pray not but..). her Gi is a believer in map and abx so is open to trying. vanco and flagyl haven't done much, i'm not interested in cipro, doesn't really seem to work. the Gi says she doesn't believe my daughter has map because that's mostly associated with ileo-cecal disease and granulomas. any thoughts?

mastersmom
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 2/4/2012 3:36 AM (GMT -7)   
My daughter tried every conventional treatment for Crohn's and she was either allergic to them or they lowered her white blood count. She was one of the first to try Humira and also Cimzia at her GI office. I was desperate to find help for her and scoured the Internet every day. At this time, worms were almost impossible to try because they had just moved their production from the U.S., LDN wouldn't work because she is on pain meds, so the anti-map treatment was my last hope. Also, my daughter always had a positive reaction when taking antibiotics. Her whole problem started with a ruptured appendix, abscesses, and Peritonitis. While she was in the hospital, she got MRSA and several other infectious diseases and was given antibiotics to fight them that they stored on a 'back shelf' according to the pharmacist. Every one's Crohn's seems to be different but hers seems to have a relationship with bacteria.

When we contacted Dr. William Chamberlin in El Paso, TX, I knew the information about the anti-map treatment backwards and forwards. Now I'm not as clear about it. We also communicated with several others who had successfully been treated. We flew to his location and she was given a colonoscopy which showed Crohn's in the terminal ileum area and granulomas were mentioned. She was given the three antibiotics which were rifabutin, clarithromyicin, and Levequin.

This was in 2009 and Dr. Chamberlin was excited because Dr. Rod Chiodini had come out of retirement to head a team to once and for all come to a conclusion about whether or not there was a connection, in some instances, between MAP and Crohn's. Dr. Chiodini was one of the pioneer scientists in paratuberculosis and had fulfilled Koch's postulates by isolating MAP in a Crohn's patient and using it to induce Crohn's Disease in goats. Their work and website is at www.thecrohnsdiseaseinitiative.com.

Dr. Chamberlin and all the other doctor's involved will tell you right at the beginning that they do not believe MAP is responsible for all Crohn's Disease in people. There have been so many misleading studies done that our local GI doctor's quote as reasons why they don't believe there is a connection. You are lucky to have such an open minded GI in my opinion.

Dr. Chamberlin never asked us before we came there where her Crohn's was located and I don't remember ever reading anything about MAP be associated with a specific location in the intestine but your doctor may have other information.

My daughter's case has had so many twists and turns and there are many mysteries still. But when we went to El Paso, he gave us pictures of the colonoscopy he performed with Crohn's inflammation and then in 2010, it had disappeared in two different colonoscopies. The GI's continued to disregard the MAP connection but a surgeon was the one that was able to supply us with Xifaxan for about 6 months to continue the antibiotic treatment. I am assuming the anti-map treatment worked.

I believe Dr. Chamberlin told us that after you are in remission, you go on a maintenance level of maybe two of the antibiotics for MAP because you can be reinfected. Since my daughter can not take the anti-MAP treatment and the Xifaxan is so expensive, she is not taking either now. I am just hoping that she will have another option if and when it returns.

In 2010, she was still experiencing pain and she was first told the pain meds were tricking her brain into thinking she was in pain. I started scouring the Internet again and decided the adhesion's that were such a problem when she had surgery in 2008 were probably back. The doctor's told me there was nothing you could do for adhesion's but my daughter kept getting worse--would vomit when she tried to eat, could hardly have a bowel movement, and was in so much pain. I found Dr. Clark Gerhart in Wilkes Barre, PA who specializes in robotically removing adhesion's. She had surgery last month and he found all of her abdominal organs encased in adhesions--everything was frozen--nothing could move. Her bowels were folded over in several locations, then twisted and torqued with these awful things. She also had an internal hernia from them and one of her ovaries had tried to regrow which formed a huge painful cyst. She is still very sore but now she can eat and go to the bathroom!! Even though the doctor did this procedure roboticallly which cuts down on adhesion's reforming and used barrier sprays and gels which weren't used on her previous surgeries, there is still a good chance she will be bothered by this again. But at least we now have a doctor who is not going to tell my daughter she is imagining things and shuffle her off to another doctor.

I just hope this whole process doesn't stir the Crohn's into action again.

Any ways, back to your daughter's problem--since she doesn't respond to the other antibiotics, it would seem she would be less likely to respond to antibiotics but that is only my guess. I really felt sure it could be the answer for my daughter because of her previous responses. Even though it sounds like you have a much better doctor than we could ever find locally, I would not give up looking for answers yourself also. I wasted too much time at first thinking the doctors were going to fix things. I will never do that again.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

killcolitis
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 2396
   Posted 2/4/2012 8:28 AM (GMT -7)   
mastermon,
Thanks for your reply! My goodness, I can't believe your daughter functioned for years wtih all of those adhesions. She must be incredibly strong. I hope that her CD is gone for good though, It's so wonderful that you found an answer for her. I've heard of cases after anti-Map where remissions go on for 10 years or more after stopping treatment. i hope she never sees this monster again.
i did speak to Dr chamberlain who is now in Billings Montana. He is lovely and we might go and see him. Problem being that my daughter is a child who has a UC diagnosis and we are facing surgery. CD is much more likely to be the real diagnosis in a child with UC. I wanted to treat it as CD and see what happened. He wants to meet to discuss how to go forward. So, we might see him. He would be much more confident of course if it as UC. My daughter has tried vanco and flagyl in the past and flagyl did seem to help the first time (a lot) but not the second. Vanco not at all. We have just had xiafaxin sent to us from italy (don't sell it in canada) so we will try it when it arrivees today. I feel that a combo therapy is ore lilkely to work becasue i am convinced that my daughter has a very severe infection of sorts (cellular).
So, that's where we stand. Did Dr Chamberlan mention what percentage of CD was caused by map in his opinion or what his success rate was with treatment?
Thanks again and I hope your daughter stays well.

mastersmom
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 2/4/2012 11:34 AM (GMT -7)   
I must tell you first of all that Dr. Chamberlin is the best GI doctor I have ever met. You can tell that it is in his heart to find an answer for you. He gave us his cell phone number and told us to call at any time. When I called once and he was doing a precedure, I decided I would only email him in the future but he chastised me for not continuing to call him. After my daughters colonoscopy, he brought her a wrapped sandwich in his pocket because she hadn't eaten before hand. He's just the best.

I did not know that Dr. Chamberlin moved but I am relieved he is not still in El Paso. Every time I see the news and all the problems there, I think about him. Is he still with Dr. Chiodini? I would love his current contact info so that I could let him know the latest on my daughter.

Yes, Dr. Chamberlin did give us all the information on his successes but what those numbers are, I don't now know. I'm sure he can help you with that. When my daughter first started the treatment, he said the sicker she got with it at first, the better it was, the better chance it was working. And she was awfully sick--flu like symptoms. With the Xifaxan, she had no side effects. I think it's the only medication she has ever taken that had no side effects for her. That was the beauty of it. She is reading this and now tells me it did make her nauseated for maybe an hour after taking it but that is nothing compared with the other things she experienced.

My daughter is in martial arts, goes to Korea about once a year to train, has her own school, and competes. She has been sick for 9 years. She refuses to let Crohn's and her other health problems stop her. I know I couldn't do it. I can barely watch her keep going when she is in so much pain.

You are on the right tract with your daughter. I feel Dr. Chamberlin will be able to help you. I'm so happy you have found him too. Keep us posted on your progress.

killcolitis
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 2396
   Posted 2/4/2012 12:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Here is his info:

Full Name
William M. Chamberlin
Credentials M.D.
Mailing Address Confidential
Business Address 1144 N BROADWAY
SUITE C
BILLINGS, MT 59101-0110

Phone (406) 238-6380 Fax (406) 238-6399


Yes, he called me after work at 6pm and chatted with me for a half hour. he was truly lovely . the only thing he is worried about is the UC diagnosis, in which case he won't really be able to treat her. Anywya, i hope we have time to pursue it further as she is sick and not far from surgery unfortunately. I am okay with surgery at this point (as "okay" as you can be of course) but my fear is it being CD and coming back. The xiafan is going to be here hopefully today (i'm waiting for DHL) otherwise hopefully by monday. I hope customs don't get their hands on it. It's a long shot but what else to do?

As for your daughter. WOW. That is wonderful. It makes me feel so hopeful to hear that. It just seems that this disease is nothing but misery and though I know that not everyone lets it rule them it sometimes feels so hard to continue with this monster. I will remember her example when I'm feeling hopeless.
Thanks again!

garles
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/6/2013 2:21 AM (GMT -7)   
I was admitted to hospital Dec 17th 2012 in Palm Springs California.  I am visiting Palm Springs for 6 months.
I was discharged on December 23 with Dx of Portal Vein Thrombosis leading to Hepatic Encepalopthy.  I was discharged from hospital and started on Generlac 15ML 4 times a day and Xifaxan 550mg twice a day.  My ammonia levels in my blood have dropped from 138 down to 71 on March 4th.  The combination seems to be working.  My only problem is the XIFAXAN is NOT available in Canada.  It is not covered with my BC Medical or extented health plan.  The cost is $1668.00 US a month so this has been a major expense and I was only cleared to travel by my GP and GI  Doctors here in Palm Springs at the end of January.
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