My Drug Center

Can You Take Xifaxan With Alcohol?

Monday 12 February 2024
5 minute(s) read

Table of Contents

I. What is Xifaxan?

II. Xifaxan and Alcohol: Interactions, Risks, and Side Effects

III. Recommendations for Xifaxan Users

IV. Accessing Xifaxan Safely and Affordably

For patients taking Xifaxan for GI or liver conditions, a common question arises: Can I take Xifaxan with alcohol? This is an important question for any prescription drug, but for one acting directly in the GI system, it’s even more critical. Add to that the fact that many people take Xifaxan to combat GI issues while traveling, a time when alcohol consumption is more frequent for many.

The short answer is yes, you can consume alcohol while taking Xifaxan. But there are considerations that patients must keep in mind while doing so, and important steps to ensure they do it safely. In this guide, we’ll explore them in more detail so you can make safe, informed decisions.

Quick Takeaways:

  • Xifaxan treats hepatic encephalopathy and certain types of diarrhea. It works by targeting gut bacteria with minimal systemic effects.
  • While there's no direct interaction between Xifaxan and alcohol, combining them can intensify side effects like nausea and dizziness.
  • Alcohol consumption can be particularly harmful for patients with hepatic encephalopathy, potentially worsening liver-related symptoms.
  • Patients taking Xifaxan should consult healthcare providers before consuming alcohol to understand individual risks and receive tailored advice.
  • Accessing Xifaxan through Canadian pharmacies can offer significant cost savings, providing a more affordable option for treatment.

What is Xifaxan?

Xifaxan (generic name rifaximin) is a prescription oral tablet used to prevent hepatic encephalopathy and to treat specific types of diarrhea. It's particularly prescribed for:

  • Decreasing the Recurrence of Hepatic Encephalopathy: Xifaxan is used in adults to reduce the recurrence of overt episodes of hepatic encephalopathy, a condition associated with severe liver disease where the brain is affected due to liver dysfunction.
  • Treating Traveler’s Diarrhea: Caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria, Xifaxan is effective in treating traveler's diarrhea in adults and some children.
  • Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Diarrhea (IBS-D): In adults, Xifaxan is also used for managing IBS-D, providing relief from abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Xifaxan works by inhibiting bacterial RNA synthesis, leading to bacterial cell death. This action is localized primarily in the gut, as rifaximin has minimal systemic absorption. This localized effect makes it effective in treating conditions within the gastrointestinal tract without significant effects on other body systems.

Xifaxan's mechanism of action and targeted effect on gut bacteria make it an effective treatment for these specific conditions. That said, it is important to use Xifaxan under the guidance of a healthcare professional, as it can interact with other medications and may not be suitable for everyone.

Xifaxan and Alcohol: Interactions, Risks, and Side Effects

Xifaxan does not have a known direct interaction with alcohol, but there are important considerations to keep in mind regarding their concurrent use. Both Xifaxan and alcohol can cause similar side effects like nausea, dizziness, and headaches. Consuming alcohol while on Xifaxan can intensify these effects and lead to increased discomfort and potential health risks.

Alcohol is also a diuretic and can lead to dehydration, which might exacerbate gastrointestinal issues, especially in patients taking Xifaxan for conditions such as traveler’s diarrhea or IBS-D. In addition, alcohol and Xifaxan can cause drowsiness or impair cognitive functions. Combining them can further impair one's ability to operate machinery or perform tasks that require alertness.

For patients with hepatic encephalopathy, consuming alcohol can be particularly harmful. Alcohol can trigger episodes of hepatic encephalopathy in individuals with underlying liver disease. Since Xifaxan is prescribed to manage this condition, drinking alcohol may counteract the it’s effectiveness, leading to serious health complications.

It’s important for patients considering Xifaxan to discuss their alcohol consumption with their healthcare provider to understand the risks and receive personalized advice based on their specific health situation.

Recommendations for Xifaxan Users

For patients prescribed Xifaxan, understanding how to manage treatment alongside alcohol consumption is crucial. Here are some guidelines and recommendations:

1. Practice Moderation or Avoidance

If you're taking Xifaxan, it's generally advisable to consume alcohol in moderation or avoid it altogether. This is especially important if you're sensitive to the side effects of either substance or if you’re taking it to prevent the recurrence of hepatic encephalopathy.

2. Consult Your Healthcare Provider

As mentioned, before consuming alcohol while on Xifaxan, consult with your healthcare provider. They can provide personalized advice based on your medical history and current health condition.

3. Monitor Side Effects Closely

Be vigilant about side effects, especially if you choose to consume alcohol while on Xifaxan. If you experience increased dizziness, headaches, or gastrointestinal discomfort, stop consuming alcohol and report your symptoms to your healthcare provider.

4. Adhere to Treatment Regimens

Ensure that you adhere to your Xifaxan treatment regimen as prescribed by your doctor. Do not adjust your medication without consulting your healthcare provider.

5. Attend Regular Check-ups

If you’re taking Xifaxan for an extended period of time, schedule regular check-ups with your healthcare provider to monitor your condition and discuss any concerns you have about your Xifaxan treatment and alcohol consumption.

In summary: While you can consume alcohol while taking Xifaxan, it's important that you do it with caution. Patients should follow the advice of healthcare professionals and be aware of how alcohol might affect their condition and the effectiveness of their treatment. Regular consultation with healthcare providers is key to safely managing Xifaxan treatment and alcohol intake.

Accessing Xifaxan Safely and Affordably

Insurance coverage for Xifaxan varies depending on your insurance plan and provider and your specific health conditions. Even with coverage, paying for Xifaxan prescriptions in the U.S., where drug prices are higher than anywhere else, can be challenging for many individuals.

Canadian pharmacies offer an affordable alternative. They provide significant savings on medications like Xifaxan and can be safely, legally imported and delivered to your home in the United States. My Drug Center is a CIPA-certified Canadian pharmacy, meaning it meets the highest safety standards. It’s trusted by thousands of patients each year who are saving up to 80% on their prescriptions.

Learn more here about My Drug Center’s easy online or over-the-phone ordering process for your next prescription.

The information in the article is not meant to be used for treatment or diagnosis. It is designed for general awareness and for information purposes only. Always consult a medical professional for your specific healthcare needs.