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Molecule Description

Rifaximin is an antibiotic used to treat diarrhea caused by the common bacteria known as E. coli (traveler's diarrhea).

Uses of Rifaximin

  • Traveler’s diarrhea
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Hepatic encephalopathy
  • Contraindications/ Do not use if
  • diarrhea that is not because of bacteria (such as viral diarrhea)
  • Diarrhea with fever
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Liver disease
  • If you are allergic to Rifaximin, Rifampin, Rifapentine or Rifabutin
  • If you are suffering from abdominal pain, constipation or blockage in the bowel

Contraindications of Rifaximin

When should one not use Rifaximin

  • Diarrhea that is not because of bacteria (such as viral diarrhea)
  • Diarrhea with fever
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Liver disease
  • If you are allergic to Rifaximin, Rifampin, Rifapentine or Rifabutin
  • If you are suffering from abdominal pain, constipation or blockage in the bowel

Side effects of Rifaximin

Common side effects of this drug are:

  • Stomach pain
  • Headache
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Urgency to empty your bowels
  • Abnormal test results in white blood cells
  • Loss of appetite, loss of body fluid (dehydration)

Precautions and Warnings of Rifaximin


Can I take Rifaximin during pregnancy?
Rifaximin is not recommended in pregnancy.

Breast Feeding

Can I take Rifaximin while breastfeeding?
It is unknown if Rifaximin passes in breast milk. Rifaximin is, therefore, not to be used if you are breastfeeding.


Can I drive if I have consumed Rifaximin?
Safe to drive as Rifaximin is unlikely to impair driving ability. If you feel dizzy, do not drive.


Can I consume alcohol with Rifaximin?
No known interaction of alcohol and Rifaximin.

Other General Warnings

Talk to your doctor if
  • If you develop severe diarrhea during or after using Rifaximin, you should immediately stop the medication
  • Your urine may become reddish in colour while taking Rifaximin, this is expected and normal

Mode of Action of Rifaximin

How Does It Work?

Rifaximin works by interfering with bacterial cell growth mechanics; thus, bacterial growth is stalled, and the existing ones are killed by immunity or when their lifecycle ends. Rifaximin is used to treat bacterial infections in the intestine. It passes through the stomach and intestines without being absorbed into the bloodstream.
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Interactions of Rifaximin

Interactions with other medicines

Inform your doctor if you are taking any other medicines as Rifaximin may interact with other medications such as Azithromycin, Diltiazem, Warfarin, Erythromycin, anti-fungal medications. It may also interact with BCG and cholera vaccines, Ciclosporin.
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Interactions with food items

Rifaximin may interact with grapefruit or its juice.

Dietary Restrictions of Rifaximin

Avoid grapefruit.

Dosage of Rifaximin


No specific information is available on the symptoms and treatment of overdose with Rifaximin. However, in acute or long term accidental or intentional overdose, discontinue Rifaximin and seek emergency medical attention immediately.
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Missed a Dose

If you missed any dose, take it as soon as you remember. Do not take extra medicine to compensate for the missed dose. It is recommended not to miss a dose of antibiotics as it can lead to antibiotic resistance.
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Content Details


Dr. Abhishek B L

MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)


Dr. Ritu Budania

MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Q: What should I discuss with my healthcare expert before starting on this medication?

A: Some medical conditions and this medicine may interact with Rifaximin. Tell your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially of liver diseases, if any. You must give details about the nature of diarrhea, whether it is with or without fever, whether you are taking any antibiotics for some other condition (because some antibiotics cause diarrhea), presence or absence of blood in stools, etc. Tell your doctor about ongoing medications, herbal preparations or dietary supplements. The doctor needs to know if you are allergic to Rifampin (medicine given in tuberculosis and leprosy), Rifapentine, Rifabutin or Rifaximin itself. Share this information if you have any history.
Last Updated on: 05 Oct 2020 | 10:47 PM (IST)

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The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts. Please click here for detailed T&C.
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