, Volume 52, Issue 3, pp 737-741
Date: 24 Jan 2007

Hospitalizations During the Use of Rifaximin Versus Lactulose for the Treatment of Hepatic Encephalopathy

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We sought to compare frequency and duration of hepatic encephalopathy-related hospitalizations during rifaximin versus lactulose treatment. Hospitalizations, clinical efficacy data, and adverse events obtained from charts of 145 patients with hepatic encephalopathy who received lactulose (30 cc twice daily) for ≥6 months and then rifaximin (400 mg 3 times a day) for ≥6 months compared last 6 months on lactulose (lactulose period) to first 6 months on rifaximin (rifaximin period). Fewer hospitalizations (0.5 versus 1.6; P < .001), fewer days hospitalized (2.5 versus 7.3; P < .001), fewer total weeks hospitalized (0.4 versus 1.8; P < .001), and lower hospitalization charges per patient ($14,222 versus $56,635) were reported during the rifaximin period. More patients had asterixis, diarrhea, flatulence, and abdominal pain during the lactulose period (P < .001). Treatment of hepatic encephalopathy with rifaximin was associated with lower hospitalization frequency and duration, lower hospital charges, better clinical status, and fewer adverse events.