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Table of Contents
Vol. 51, Suppl. 1, 2005
Issue release date: April 2005
Section title: Paper
Chemotherapy 2005;51(suppl 1):36–66
(DOI:10.1159/000081990)

Rifaximin, a Poorly Absorbed Antibiotic: Pharmacology and Clinical Potential

Scarpignato C. · Pelosini I.
Laboratory of Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Human Anatomy, Pharmacology and Forensic Sciences, School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Parma, Parma, Italy

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Paper

Published online: April 11, 2005
Issue release date: April 2005

Number of Print Pages: 31
Number of Figures: 10
Number of Tables: 14

ISSN: 0009-3157 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9794 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/CHE

Abstract

Rifaximin (4-deoxy-4′-methylpyrido[1′,2′-1,2]imidazo- [5,4-c]-rifamycin SV) is a synthetic antibiotic designed to modify the parent compound, rifamycin, in order to achieve low gastrointestinal (GI) absorption while retaining good antibacterial activity. Both experimental and clinical pharmacology clearly show that this compound is a nonsystemic antibiotic with a broad spectrum of antibacterial action covering Gram-positive and Gram-negative organisms, both aerobes and anaerobes. Being virtually nonabsorbed, its bioavailability within the GI tract is rather high with intraluminal and fecal drug concentrations that largely exceed the minimal inhibitory concentration values observed in vitro against a wide range of pathogenic organisms. The GI tract represents, therefore, the primary therapeutic target and GI infections the main indication. The appreciation of the pathogenic role of gut bacteria in several organic and functional GI diseases has increasingly broadened its clinical use, which is now extended to hepatic encephalopathy, small intestine bacterial overgrowth, inflammatory bowel disease and colonic diverticular disease. Potential indications include the irritable bowel syndrome and chronic constipation, Clostridium difficile infection and bowel preparation before colorectal surgery. Because of its antibacterial activity against the microorganism and the lack of strains with primary resistance, some preliminary studies have explored the rifaximin potential for Helicobacter pylori eradication. Oral administration of this drug, by getting rid of enteric bacteria, could also be employed to achieve selective bowel decontamination in acute pancreatitis, liver cirrhosis (thus preventing spontaneous bacterial peritonitis) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use (lessening in that way NSAID enteropathy). This antibiotic has, therefore, little value outside the enteric area and this will minimize both antimicrobial resistance and systemic adverse events. Indeed, the drug proved to be safe in all patient populations, including young children. Although rifaximin has stood the test of time, it still attracts the attention of both basic scientists and clinicians. As a matter of fact, with the advancement of the knowledge on microbial-gut interactions in health and disease novel indications and new drug regimens are being explored. Besides widening the clinical use, the research on rifaximin is also focused on the synthesis of new derivatives and on the development of original formulations designed to expand the spectrum of its clinical use.

© 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Paper

Published online: April 11, 2005
Issue release date: April 2005

Number of Print Pages: 31
Number of Figures: 10
Number of Tables: 14

ISSN: 0009-3157 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9794 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/CHE


Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer

Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.