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Rifamycin

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Rifamycin is used to treat of travelers’ diarrhea caused by certain bacteria. Rifamycin is in a class of medications called antibiotics. It works by stopping the growth of the bacteria that cause diarrhea.

Antibiotics such as rifamycin will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections. Using antibiotics when they are not needed increases your risk of getting an infection later that resists antibiotic treatment.

How should this medicine be used?

Rifamycin comes as a delayed-release (releases the medication in the intestine to allow the medication to work in the intestine where its effects are needed) tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken twice daily (in morning and evening) with or without food for 3 days. Take rifamycin at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take rifamycin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Take each dose with a glass of liquid (at least 6–8 ounces [177–240 milliliters]); do not take it along with alcohol.

Swallow the tablets whole; do not split, chew, or crush them.

You should begin to feel better during the first few days of treatment with rifamycin. If your symptoms do not improve within 48 hours or get worse or if you develop a fever or bloody diarrhea, call your doctor right away.

Take rifamycin until you finish the prescription, even if you feel better. If you stop taking rifamycin too soon or skip doses, your infection may not be completely treated and the bacteria may become resistant to antibiotics.

Other uses for this medicine

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking rifamycin,

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to rifamycin, rifaximin (Xifaxan), rifabutin (Mycobutin), rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, in Rifamate, in Rifater), rifapentine (Priftin), any other medications, or any of the ingredients in rifamycin tablets. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, you are taking or plan to take. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had other medical conditions.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking rifamycin, call your doctor.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Rifamycin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • Constipation
  • Headache

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • Watery or bloody diarrhea that may occur along with stomach cramps and fever during your treatment or for 2 months afterward

Rifamycin may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).

It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org

Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor.

Do not let anyone else take your medication.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Aemcolo®
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