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Has anyone here tried Rifaximin for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)?

Discussion in 'The Gut: De Meirleir & Maes; H2S; Leaky Gut' started by tamrakat, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. tamrakat

    tamrakat tamrakat

    Northern California
    I'm Tamra. I have fibro, CFIDS, IBS, depression, insomnia, thyroid nodules, joint and all over body pain, etc... Had fibro pain, migraines and insomnia since 1995, but got really, REALLY sick since having a very bad intestinal infection (c. diff) in July of 07. I posted on another forum a while back wondering about the antibiotic Rifaximin, and someone on that group, louella m, wrote and told me someone named Shane in this group had tried it. I'm wondering if it helped at all.

    I'm seeing Dr. Linda Nguyen at Stanford on May 20. She's a GI motility specialist and will be doing a lactulose breath test to see if I have SIBO. If I do, I need to decide if I want to risk taking an antibiotic like Rifaximin, since taking antibiotics is what got me into this mess in 2007.

    Does anyone here have experience with Rifaximin for SIBO or any other condition, and if so what is your opinion?

  2. CBS

    CBS Senior Member

    Rifaximin (Xifaxin) and SIBO

    Hi Tamrakat,

    I have had SIBO for years. If you have it, you know how much fun it can be. I was first diagnosed via an upper GI fluid sample (stomach and duodenum) and put on Flagyl and Levofloxacin in 2005. It had absolutely no effect. Years later with symptoms flaring I took a hydrogen breath test. My values were well beyond the normal range with the first sample. My GI put me on Xifaxin because apparently it does not cross the intestinal barrier and so therefore it is non-systemic.

    I was on very high doses for 15 days (800 mg QID). Xiflaxin is typically Rx'd for three days at something close to 400 mg TID. I was also prescribed a probiolotic that I take twice every day. Four weeks later my GI symptoms were gone, no abdominal pain and a perfectly normal hydrogen breath test. The Xifaxin was not a cure as the problem for me was motility (autonomic neural dysfunction of the muscles lining the small intestine). I had to retreat about 12 weeks later but the second round was only for 7 days. Since then, so far so good (coming up to five months now).

    Know that some insurance companies really resist paying for such a high does over such a long period and then doing so again 10-12 weeks later. Also, the probiotic (florastor BID) is not cheap - $35 for 50 from Medco but is well worth it if it buys time between symptoms and anti-biotic treatments.

    Hope this helps.

  3. mslisa

    mslisa Guest

    I too have had SIBO since 2007 thanks to a trip to Mexico that resulted in parasites followed by a ton of anitbiotics. When I tried Rifimaxin about a year ago I felt a little better while I was on it, but the bad stuff just came back. I get better results with SCD, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. The book is by Elaine Gothschall and is really the only thing that produced results.

    The only downside- you have to be extremely strict. Anytime I cheat I'm miserable again for a few weeks before I get back on track. Prescription antibiotics have done me far more harm than good, so if you can control this naturally through diet that's the preferred route to go. I've tried some herbal products with good results too. These can be taken for longer than a few days since they have little to no side effects- Oil of Oregano, Olive Leaft Extract and Aged Garlic Extract. You can find these in tincture form at any local health food store. Always start on a low dose with herbs and work your way up since everyone is different. I have struggled getting good bacteria to grow back in my intestines. I have done a follow up CDSA through Genova Diagnositcs and for some reason I just can't seem to get Lactobacillus to grow back in my system despite probiotcs and homemade yogurt supplementation.

    I hope you find some relief soon: SIBO is a miserable thing to have but through trial and error you'll find something eventually that will help!
  4. Suzy

    Suzy Guest

    I have symptoms of a lot fo gas production such as bloating. I did the lactulose hydrogen/methane gas test for SIBO. My methane was normal and hydrogen was elevated. Even though I have so much bloating, my test resutls reported only mild SIBO which really surprised me.

    Years ago, when first crashing with fatigue, an extremely low carb diet resolved all of my fatigue and spaciness, so I know it's a toxin produced in my gut that is causing my symptoms.

    I have the rifaximin here and am going to be doing the Pimentel protocal soon. I will report my progress.

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