Rifaximin For Hepatic Encephalopathy Treatment


Rifaximin for Hepatic Encephalopathy is an antibiotic that’s usually used to treat traveler’s diarrhea and IBS. It’s also been approved by the US FDA to help prevent HE. This medicine is often taken twice daily to achieve this goal.

Is It Safe To Use?

This product is an antibiotic. The goal is to prevent HE, which is caused by various factors including liver disease. When the liver is unable to function it can result in this condition, which affects brain function. Antibiotics are designed to kill bacteria, which could trigger Hepatic Encephalopathy episodes.


This product is usually taken twice per day in order to help prevent HE. This could be in the morning and afternoon, for example. Your doctor can help to guide you about the best time to take the medicine.

It’s also important to follow the doctor’s guidelines about issues related to water/food in order for the medicine to work effectively.

1. How long does it take to kick in?

Antibiotics usually work as soon as you start taking them. However, you might not start feeling better until a few days later. In the case of Rifaximin for hepatic encephalopathy, the goal is to prevent HE. Your doctor can guide you about how long you should take the medicine.

If you have liver cirrhosis then it’s important to take steps to treat/prevent various complications. That can include HE. So your doctor might prescribe the medicine long-term. It’s important to talk to him/her about how long you should take the medicine.

2. How many can you take in a day?

Your doctor will provide you with the daily dosage of Rifaximin you should take. This can help to provide the best results. There are various factors that will help to determine the particular dosage including the condition you’re treating. It’s important to avoid taking more than you’re required to take per day. That can help to avoid certain side-effects.

This medicine is usually taken 2x per day to help prevent HE. However, you should talk to your doctor about the number of times you should take the medicine per day.

Are There Any Side Effects?

There are various side-effects including:

  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Swelling of hands/feet
  • Nausea
  • Digestion issues
  • Bloating
  • Fever
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Feeling of fullness
  • Constipation

If you have such symptoms it’s important to contact your doctor immediately. He/She can guide you on what steps to take next. It’s important to note that these are only possible side-effects. You could experience any number including none.

It’s also important to follow the instructions related to when and how much to take. This will help to avoid possible risks due to high dosages, for example. Your doctor prescribes a particular dosage based on your particular situation.

What Are The Benefits?


This is one of the main benefits of this medicine. In fact, the FDA has approved Rifaximin for treating HE. This makes it a practical option if you have this condition. It’s a complication related to various diseases including liver cirrhosis.

The FDA conducts long-term research before it approves certain medicines for treating/preventing certain conditions. That’s why this is a key feature to look for when considering certain meds for treating HE.


The product has been produced since 1987 in Italy. This is a plus over other medicines that don’t have a similar track record. Since Rifaximin has been on the market for 30+ years this means it’s been thoroughly tested for different conditions. It’s also been FDA-approved so it has a thumbs up from the US government for preventing HE.


The price of the prescription drug is usually in the under-$1500 price range. It’s not a “cheap” drug. However, since it’s FDA-approved it helps to ensure you’re getting an effective medicine that’s been tested thoroughly.

There are cheaper drugs. However, they haven’t undergone such testing so it’s unclear whether they’re as effective in helping to prevent HE or treat other conditions.


Besides treating HE, Rifaximin can also help to treat other conditions. They include IBS and traveler’s diarrhea. This is due to the medicine’s function as an antibiotic. For example, it can help to kill E. coli bacteria, which are related to conditions like traveler’s diarrhea.


Various studies show that Rifaximin can help to prevent HE. This is important if you have conditions like liver disease. In that case, it’s important to know whether or not research has been conducted regarding the condition you’re treating.

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