Is extended treatment with Xifaxan safe?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 2/25/2009 12:39 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm not sure which forum to post this in, but everyone here was really cool to me a few months ago so I figured I'd post it here.

My gastroenterologist put me on a 10 day course of Xifaxan, 200mg 3x a day. Today is my 10th day. I talked to him today and he wants me to stay on for another 10 days.

Does anyone know if this is a safe thing to do? As I understand it, Xifaxan is a relatively safe antibiotic that is only active in the intestines, but I know with antibiotics there is always some dangers. I was just reading about how some people who use Cipro end up with permanent CNS problems and an untreatable condition that resembles Fibromyalgia. I know Xifaxan is different from Cipro, but still.

So is it safe to be on Xifaxan for 20 days at 200mg 3x a day?

Also, the dr's assistant told me Xifaxan has "good probiotics in it" to help keep you from encountering issues that come from killing off all the other bacterias (C.Diff, etc.). I haven't read anything anywhere suggesting that that's the case, so that kind of makes me question her knowledge and therefore question that Xifaxan is safe long term.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 1250
   Posted 2/25/2009 12:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome back! I wish I had an answer for you, but I am not familiar with this medication. Someone should be along shortly to help you. Also, there is a thread regarding new meds. I will "bump" it for you, since there may be some good info there. May I ask what you took this antibiotic for? Blessings, Julie
Diagnosed with Crohn's March 2006, Fibromyalgia November 2008
Asacol 3 times a day, Remicade 10mg/kg every 4 weeks, Prednisone 10 mg, Miralax,  Prevacid 30mg, Vit B12, Vitamin D, Slow-FE (Iron), Hydrocortisone enemas
Imuran stopped 9/8/08 (possible Pancreatitis)
Paxil 40mg daily (for Panic disorder)
Xanax .5mg as needed (for anxiety attacks)

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 2/25/2009 1:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Zanne (another poster) has been using this medication to help with her Crohns for awhile. I think that you will be safe taking it for another 10 days. I would think it would be a good idea to always take a good probiotic two hours after dose though.

Good luck,
Gail *Nanners*
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 2/25/2009 4:24 PM (GMT -7)   
I actually stopped taking probiotics (Kefir) and noticed that I started feeling noticeably *better* a few days after stopping. I have been off of it for > 3 weeks now.

I thought that was insanely odd.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 2/25/2009 6:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Yup it should be safe to use for 20 days. It is used off label as a treatment for CD. I have been on it for almost 2 years. It has made a world of difference for me. I really don't know how it works for me, just that it has limited the number of bathroom trips a day from close to 20 to about 5. Other than that change it doesn't seem to have had any other effect. I haven't had any side effects. I know that the main use for Xifaxan is as a treatment for travelers diarrhea and that the drug company got involved in helping my doctor to get the approval from my insurance company for coverage. I had heard of Xifaxan as a possible treatment for several years before I started on it, but I'm not sure if it will ever be something that will be anything more than an off label use.

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.....

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 768
   Posted 2/25/2009 7:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Newbie00 I'll have to ask my Dr. about that one. Haven't heard about that before. Hope you get it figured out. Best wishes.
Hey Zanne who ever you are, your note at the bottom of your post is wonderful and inspirational. Thanks

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1202
   Posted 2/25/2009 8:19 PM (GMT -7)   
I was on Xifaxan for a couple of months 200mg 3/day. I finally quit due to yeast issues, but I admit I was not great about taking my probiotics.

Good luck!
--40 year old female, dx as UC in '04 (1st symptoms in '03), switched to Crohn's in '05, 1 fistula, crohn's colitis, limited to large intestine  --rejected (reaction/didn't work): Asacol, AZA, 6-MP, MTX, Remicade, Humira, prednisone
--Prochymal in Phase III study (can't wait til it's approved!)
--started Tysabri 3/21/08 => STOPPED 10/3/08 - now 2 months into it & it was the right decision
--currently taking budesonide suppositories, 3mg at night.  SLIPPING big time.  Started Cimzia first dose 2/10/09.  Dx Osteoporosis 10/08 started Forteo 1/27/09
--single mom to 11-yr-old girl

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 350
   Posted 2/25/2009 9:00 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been on it for about 4-5 months, no problems at all. I started out on 3 pills a day, now I take 2. Totally no issues. I love it, I tried to go off it for a couple of weeks and I went backwards, so I'm still on it. I honestly have no side effects. I pop probiotics a few times a week -- but the experience has been totally painless for me, hope it's the same for you. For me it's been a huge help.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 2/25/2009 11:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks everyone :)
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