Cirrhosis Support Group

Cirrhosis is a consequence of chronic liver disease, most commonly caused by alcoholism and hepatitis C. Ascites is the most common complication of cirrhosis and is associated with a poor quality of life, increased risk of infections, and a poor long term outcome. Liver damage from cirrhosis cannot be reversed, but treatment can stop or delay further progression and reduce complications.

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Xifaxan

Hi I recently have noticed this treatment being mentioned in a lot of posts . I also am on this treatment as i could not tolerate lactulose or zinc . I was wondering if someone else who is also on this med could describe any benefits as to how they feel. I feel the same as i did 3 months ago b-4 starting this treatment . Ive had a tips procedure 1 year ago with 3 revisits as ive had 3 blockages and stil work 40 hours/week.I do feel run down most of the time and sleep a lot when not working.

Replies

ChelseyAnn
ChelseyAnn

Good morning :)
I have been on Xifaxan since last November along with Lactulose. This is what I was told about the drug:

Xifaxan is an antibiotic that fights bacterial infection only in the intestines. It is used to treat travelers' diarrhea caused by E. coli. Most people get this infection by eating food or drinking fluids that have been contaminated with the bacteria.(drugs.com)

So...what I get from this is that it helps to protect against the infection that could be caused by all of the diarhhea caused by the Lactulose. I guess this would be the benefit of it. I don't notice any difference in how I feel except that some of the side effects are nausea and constipation and the urgency to "go". I get all of these so basically I go from one extreme to the other. In my opinion it's a pain but the docs think it's necessary even though it makes me feel worse instead of better. I take 400 mg a day and this is half the dose I started with.
I don't know if this helps at all. It seems like everytime I mention something about it to my doctor he starts messing with my dosages again and that really screws me up.
Good luck and I hope you can find out more about this too.
Chelsey Ann
deleted_user
deleted_user

Xifaxan, rifaximin, is a lower GI tract specific anti-biotic.

For encepalopathy, the theory is that is attacks the bacteria in the lower colon which produce the toxic ammonia that is the focus for most treatments of HE.

I have been on it for over a year and my qualitative response is that it does seem to reduce the severity of HE. I have a personal friend here locally which responded much more strongly to the positive effects of xifaxan.

It has reduced my need for multiple lactulose doses per day, for him, he can go 2-3 days between lactulose treatments.

So in summary, your mileage will vary. (They should change the name of liver disease to that phrase, IMHO) But in general the effects that I have first hand knowledge of have been positive.

PK
deleted_user
deleted_user

Works really well for me and has eliminated all the explosive lactulose issues.... so I am a happy camper for sure.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Since I didn't tolerate lactulose, I was only on xifaxan. I can't remember off hand the amount I took each day, but kept me regular enough not to have to combine it with lactulose. Sometimes it would have to be increased for best results. But no side effects for me and no explosive episodes. Yippeeeee!
deleted_user
deleted_user

Jim had his 2nd encehalopothy episode so they started him on Xifaxan along with the Lactulose. He said it makes him feel like he needs to go to the bathroom but is constipated. He doesn't like it at all, but likes the lactulose explosions even less. We are going to try cutting back on the Lactulose and see if the Xifaxan will handle the enceph. alone. This antibiotic doesn't go into the bloodstream. It works in the belly to kill the bacteria that produces the ammonia. With me watching Jim closely we can "play" with the dosages to find what works best for him.
deleted_user
deleted_user

So after having your tips procedure , how long did it take to get over the confusion/ being tired all the time. etc. Ned had the tips procedure first part of July, we just recently started using the Xifaxan,
which it seems it keeps him more alert, and less confused at this point . He is using the lactulose , he just does not have any energy to do anything. I am looking for any suggestions/ help from anyone else whom has had the tips procedure. Thank you !
deleted_user
deleted_user

Before I was diagnosed properly (didn't get an end stage liver diagnosis until after my first encepalopothy incident)I had been hospitalized multiple times with "bacterial infections". After I started Xifaxan, along with all the other meds, I didn't have another infection.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I started out being on Xifaxan but it was so expensive I could not afford the co pay. They wanted 98 dollars for this one medication. I asked the doctor for something else and was prescribed neomycin 500mg tab. My understand is it is the same type of antibiotic for the stomach and the only word I got on either of them is that they work in conjunction with lactulose in keeping buildup of ammonia down. Since I take lactulose and this medicine I don't know which one causes my symtoms. But I get bloated and gassy when I take them. Blah, just part of the fun.
Jan
deleted_user
deleted_user

Just curious - what problems did you have with the zinc? I have not heard of any problems before with taking that supplement.

Hope you feel better soon!
deleted_user
deleted_user

Also what were your symptoms of not tolerating lactulose?
deleted_user
deleted_user

Wondering if anyone felt they had a side effect from the Xifaxan of making knee and other joints extremely painful? or achey joints in general, with liver disease?