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What are possible side effects of Xifaxan?

Monday 2 May 2022
4 minute(s) read

Table of Contents

I. Xifaxan Uses

II. Tarry Stools

III. Headaches

IV. Other Side Effects

V. How long do side effects last?

Xifaxan Uses

Xifaxan is a multi-faceted drug used to treat symptoms of traveler’s diarrhea, hepatic encephalopathy, and irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D). It is an antidiarrheal medication that belongs to a class of drugs known as antibiotics. 

Xifaxan 550 mg is useful in treating unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms but is often incredibly expensive to purchase in the United States. When starting a new medication, it is essential to remain aware of potential side effects. The dosages and treatment time differ for each condition approved for Xifaxan, so side effects vary between patients. [1]

Xifaxan for traveler’s diarrhea: Traveler’s diarrhea is likely to occur when you travel to a region with poor hygiene practices. If you ingest the E. coli bacteria, you can experience unpleasant symptoms like persistent diarrhea, bloating, and stomach pain. Xifaxan is an antibiotic that targets the intestines specifically to destroy E. coli bacteria and prevent further growth.

A travelling girl with stomach pain

Xifaxan for IBS-D: IBS with diarrhea is a common type of large intestine disorder. Symptoms of IBS-D often include gas, cramping, abdominal pain, and bloating. Certain foods may trigger or inflame IBS symptoms. Xifaxan can be used to reduce diarrhea symptoms and improve the overall quality of life for IBS patients.

Xifaxan for hepatic encephalopathy (HE): If you have a liver disease for a long period, you may experience symptoms that affect your brain, causing hepatic encephalopathy. These symptoms can include lack of interest, inappropriate behavior, confusion, and fatigue. Xifaxan can treat HE because it reduces ammonia-producing colonic bacteria, which can treat acute HE. [1]

Xifaxan is an effective antibiotic, but it comes with its side effects. Read on to learn more about the possible side effects of rifaximin.

Tarry Stools

If you are experiencing traveler’s diarrhea or IBS-D, diarrheal symptoms are present, so monitoring your bowel movements while you are sick is important. Black or tarry stools are a common symptom once you begin taking Xifaxan. 

In some cases, IBS-D and traveler’s diarrhea can lead to a C. difficile bacterial infection, a dangerous infection that can cause severe diarrhea and inflammation of the colon. C. diff can be deadly if left untreated, and the CDC states that one in 11 people over 65 who develop C. diff will die within one month. [2] 

Your doctor may initially be treating you for E. coli infection, but if your colon becomes inflamed, it can bleed and lead to blood in the stool. Blood in the stool has a tarry and black appearance. If you notice this symptom, you may have C. diff, and you should seek medical help right away. 

a toilet

Headache and Traveler’s Diarrhea

Headaches are a very common side effect of many antibiotics. Taking an antibiotic can cause the muscles or blood vessels to swell or tighten, and a headache may occur. If you take Xifaxan for traveler’s diarrhea, you are more likely to experience headaches. 

Excessive diarrhea increases your risk of dehydration and headaches. When your body does not have the proper fluid balance, you can experience painful headaches and dizziness. [3]

If you want to avoid headaches while taking Xifaxan, staying hydrated and making sure you eat fruits and vegetables with high water content is essential. Tell your doctor if your headaches become persistent and bothersome when taking Xifaxan. 

Other Side Effects

Each patient taking Xifaxan may react differently. By taking Xifaxan properly, you can reduce the risk of side effects. Headaches and tarry stools are fairly common, but certain side effects are more likely to occur depending on your treatment plan. As mentioned above, taking Xifaxan for traveler’s diarrhea can cause headaches. Hepatic encephalopathy may cause different side effects, including swelling in the hands and feet, dizziness, fatigue, and extra stomach fluid. If you take rifaximin for IBS-D, nausea and a rise in liver enzymes are more likely to occur. [4]

a woman in bed

How long do side effects last?

Experiencing these side effects does not necessarily mean you are having a dangerous reaction, but you may want to talk to your doctor if the symptoms persist. The half-life of rifaximin is about six hours, so any side effects should likely subside less than a day after your last dose. If you experience an allergic reaction when taking Xifaxan, it may take longer for allergic symptoms to go away. [4]

If you want to save money on your Xifaxan cost, visit My Drug Center to start saving. Using an online Canadian pharmacy can save you time and money on your antibiotic cost.

DISCLAIMER: 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.