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Important Guidelines about the Foods to Avoid While Taking Xifaxan!

Has your doctor prescribed you Xifaxan for your illness? Well, as Xifaxan is an antibiotic, you need to avoid certain foods while taking it. Also, there is a whole food list that can help in better absorption of this drug. This is why it is important to have a complete guideline about what to eat while taking Xifaxan.

So,  Is there any foods to avoid while taking Xifaxan?

Yes, as Xifaxan or Rifaxamin is an antibiotic, there are certain foods that you should avoid while taking it. For example, foods rich in calcium and alcohol can interact with antibiotics and reduce their effectiveness. Also, there is a food group that causes the early elimination of antibiotics from the body, so the drug can not perform its activities properly.

In this article, you will have a complete guideline about the foods to avoid while taking Xifaxan or any other antibiotic. So let’s find out the interesting facts about how food interacts with drugs, especially antibiotics.

It is the elimination rate of antibiotics that depends upon their half-life. The elimination half-life of Xifaxan is 5.6 to 6 hours.

Table of Content

What is Xifaxan and How Does It Work?

Xifaxan is a brand name for the antibiotic Rifaxamin. This particular drug is used to treat traveler’s diarrhea. The main culprit responsible for causing this diarrhea is the bacteria Escherichia coli. The non-invasive strains of Escherichia coli cause this type of diarrhea.

Physicians may also prescribe this drug for irritable bowel syndrome or IBS. Another condition for which this antibiotic is useful is SIBO or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. The antibiotic can also lower the risk of brain function loss or hepatic encephalopathy in adults with liver failure. 

Let’s talk about how this antibiotic works. Xifaxan is a non systemic antibiotic. This antibiotic works by slowing down the growth of bacteria in the human body. Hence, it can treat several bacterial infections.


Now the question is, how long does Xifaxan take to work? This antibiotic starts working 24 to 48 hours after it reaches the stomach. It then starts slowing down the bacterial overgrowth.

How Long Does Xifaxan Stay in Your System?

For the proper treatment of patients and the eradication of infection, doctors usually prescribe a 2-week course of Xifaxan. So, what happens when you stop taking Xifaxan? After stopping the use of antibiotics, it stays in your system for at least 5 or 6 hours.

It is the elimination rate of antibiotics that depends upon their half-life. The elimination half-life of Xifaxan is 5.6 to 6 hours. So for complete removal, the antibiotic may take 12 to 24 hours. After 6 hours there will be half of the concentration of antibiotics inside your body.

Should I Take a Probiotic While Taking Xifaxan?

 There is a common question among people taking Xifaxan, especially for diarrhea, can I eat yogurt while taking Xifaxan? Yes, as yogurt is a probiotic, it is a good idea to eat yogurt while taking Xifaxan.

A probiotic is something that is a product of fermentation. It contains a lot of good bacteria in it. So when it enters your gut, it stimulates the growth of healthy gut bacteria. In conditions like diarrhea, where there is an overgrowth of bad bacteria, probiotics can be very helpful.


This is because it can stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria that can kill the disease-causing bacteria in the intestine. Hence, it is good to take probiotics while taking Xifaxan.

Does Alcohol Interact With Xifaxan?

Alcohol Consumption in a large quantity can reduce the effectiveness of an antibiotic. Similarly, if you’re consuming alcohol while on Xifaxan, it is most likely that the rate of recovery will be very slow. 

Alcohol Consumption cannot only delay the recovery from a bacterial infection but may also cause any other illness. It also reduces your energy and the strength to fight disease. In other words, alcohol consumption can weaken your immunity. Hence, it is better to avoid alcohol consumption while taking Xifaxan.

Xifaxan Side Effects

Although, Xifaxan has no side effects when you take it according to the right dosage as the doctor prescribes. However, overuse or sometimes the right dosage of antibiotics can cause serious side effects. Following are the common side effects that you can experience with Xifaxan.

These side effects only occur in a few individuals who might be allergic to Xifaxan. It may also occur in case you take any other drug that can adversely react with Xifaxan.

What to Eat While on Xifaxan?

Several people ask, what to eat while taking Xifaxan for SIBO? SIBO is the overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the small intestine. The other name of SIBO is blind loop syndrome. In this condition, there is no proper movement of food in the small intestine, hence the food gets stuck in the intestine.

The food then becomes contaminated and the harmful bacteria start to multiply. The main symptoms of SIBO are oily, smelly, and floating stools. In this condition, it is hard to digest carbohydrates.


So while the doctor recommends Xifaxan, he also advises taking food that is low in carbs. Following is the food list that you can take on Xifaxan.

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Gluten-free crackers
  • Oatmeal
  • Unsweetened cereal
  • Pumpkin
  • Seeds
  • Quinoa

What to Avoid While Taking Xifaxan?

What not to take with Xifaxan is a common debate among patients suffering from traveler’s diarrhea or any other bacterial disease. Especially, a patient suffering from SIBO should take care of a healthy diet. 

Apart from eating a healthy balanced diet, a SIBO patient should also take care to include only low carbohydrate food in his diet. This is called the SIBO diet and can be very useful to achieve a speedy recovery.

It is important to understand that when there is an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, it becomes hard for our gut to digest food high in carbohydrates. So, it is important to eliminate high-carb foods from your diet. 

A patient on Xifaxan should avoid any food group containing lactose, fructose, galactans, and polyols. As all of these contain the carbohydrates subunits, these food groups are difficult to digest for a patient on Xifaxan. Following is a whole list of foods to avoid while taking Xifaxan.

  • Fruits and veggies
  • Honey
  • Legumes
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Cauliflower
  • Beans
  • Apples
  • Dairy products
  • Sweetened cereals
  • Peas
  • Grain
  • Rice
  • Wheat flour
  • Potatoes

These food items are best to avoid when taking Xifaxan. Also, it is important to consult your doctor to ask for further queries related to the SIBO diet or food interactions with Xifaxan.


Question: what should I eat while on Xifaxan?

You should eat the food as your doctor advised you. You should understand that while you’re suffering from any bacterial disease related to the intestines or gut, it is hard for your stomach to digest complex food groups. So, it is best to eat food low in carbohydrates while on Xifaxan.

Question: Should I eat when I have taken Xifaxan?

Yes, you can eat after taking Xifaxan. However, it is important to eat food that is not high in carbohydrates and fiber. You can include water-based food items in your diet. As it will help Xifaxan to work properly.

Question: Can I drink milk with Xifaxan?

Do not drink milk with antibiotics like Xifaxan. As milk is a dairy product that is hard for your stomach to digest. It can also interrupt the proper action of antibiotics. Drinking milk with Xifaxan can reduce the effectiveness of this drug. So, it is better to avoid any dairy products with Xifaxan.

Question: Is Xifaxan hard on the stomach?

Yes, Xifaxan is sometimes hard on the stomach. As it has to work in the stomach and it doesn’t go into system circulation, many patients report stomach pain, bloating, nausea and vomiting during taking Xifaxan.

Bottom Line

While taking Xifaxan, you must know the foods to avoid. It is important to note down a whole food list that you can eat with Xifaxan. You should eat food that is low in carbohydrates and easy to digest. 

Also, proper hydration is necessary for dilution of stomach content. As the water dilutes the stomach content, it makes the drug absorption easier. So it is good to take a water-based diet while on Xifaxan.

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