Rifaximin improves symptoms of acquired uncomplicated diverticular disease of the colon
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Background and aims. We examined the efficacy of cyclic long-term administration of rifaximin, a broad spectrum, poorly absorbable antibiotic, in obtaining symptom relief in a large series of patients with uncomplicated diverticular disease, and compared the incidence of episodes of diverticulitis in the group treated with rifaximin to that in a group receiving fiber supplementation only.
Patients and methods. In a multicenter, prospective, open trial, 968 outpatients with uncomplicated symptomatic diverticular disease were randomized to either fiber supplementation with 4 g/day glucomannan plus 400 mg rifaximin twice daily for 7 days every month (n=558) or 4 g/day glucomannan alone (n=346). Clinical evaluation was performed on admission and at 4-month intervals for 12 months.
Results. After 12 months the group treated with glucomannan + rifaximin showed fewer symptoms (abdominal pain/discomfort, bloating, tenesmus, diarrhea, abdominal tenderness) and a lower global symptomatic score. Overall 56.5% of the patients treated with glucomannan + rifaximin and 29.2% of those treated with glucomannan alone were asymptomatic at 12 months (P<0.001). The rate of complications (diverticulitis and rectal bleeding) was 1.34% in the rifaximin + glucomannan group and 3.22% in the glucomannan alone group (P<0.05).
Conclusion. Cyclic administration of rifaximin is effective in obtaining symptom relief in uncomplicated diverticular disease of the colon. The incidence of episodes of diverticulitis in the group treated with rifaximin was lower than that in the group treated with glucomannan alone.
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