Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp 169–174 | Cite as

Rifaximin versus Other Antibiotics in the Primary Treatment and Retreatment of Bacterial Overgrowth in IBS

  • Janet Yang
  • Hyo-Rang Lee
  • Kimberly Low
  • Soumya Chatterjee
  • Mark PimentelEmail author
Original Paper



Previous studies demonstrate improvement in IBS after antibiotic therapy, with the greatest efficacy seen with the antibiotic, rifaximin. The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy of rifaximin in both the treatment and retreatment of IBS.


A retrospective chart review was conducted on Rome I-positive IBS patients. Charts were reviewed to evaluate all antibiotic treatments (rifaximin, neomycin, doxycycline, amoxicillin/clavulanate, and ciprofloxacin), even those predating 1 July 2004. Data collection included symptoms, breath test results (pre- and post-treatment), antibiotics used, and clinical response to individual antibiotic treatments before and after rifaximin availability in the USA.


Out of 98 eligible charts, 84 patients received one course of rifaximin. Fifty of these (60%) had a follow-up breath test. Among these, 31 (62%) were clinical responders and 19 (38%) were nonresponders. Of 31 responders, 25 (81%) had a normal follow-up breath test compared with only 3 of the 19 nonresponders (16%) (P < 0.001). Of participants given rifaximin, 69% (58 out of 84) had a clinical response compared with only 38% (9 out of 24) with neomycin (P < 0.01) and 44% (27 out of 61) with all non-rifaximin antibiotics (P < 0.01). Rifaximin was used as retreatment on 16 occasions, and all patients improved.


Rifaximin is more effective than other antibiotics in the treatment and retreatment of IBS.


Rifaximin Irritable bowel syndrome Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth Lactulose breath test 



This study was funded through an unrestricted investigator grant with Salix Pharmaceuticals.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janet Yang
    • 1
  • Hyo-Rang Lee
    • 1
  • Kimberly Low
    • 1
  • Soumya Chatterjee
    • 1
  • Mark Pimentel
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.GI Motility Program, GI Motility Laboratory, Cedars-Sinai Burns and Allen Research InstituteCedars-Sinai Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA

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