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Effect of alcohol on antibiotic for BACTERIAL OVERGROWTH.

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My doctor prescribed Xyflaxan for Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth, 30 day supply, 3 times a day with Florastor twice a day. I can tell I am improving after 12 days. One weekend during the cycle I went to the lake with friends a drank alcohol heavily. I am worried I weakend the affect of the medicine since it is an antibiotic. Please advise.

Category: Family Physician-GP

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Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
 18 Doctors Online

Thank you for your query at

I understand your concern and will do my best to help you.
Xifaxan (Rifaximin) is an antibiotic which is locally acting, meaning that when its taken orally, it has its effect on the gut. It is not absorbed from the gut into the bloodstream like the majority of other antibiotics and drugs. Hence it is used for infections of the gut like Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO).

Alcohol can decrease efficacy of certain antibiotics which have systemic effects, that is those which act through the bloodstream. This it does by increasing the enzymes in the liver which breakdown the antibiotics, thus decreasing their levels in the bloodstream and weakening their effect. Since Xifaxan does not even enter the bloodstream, alcohol does not have any affect on it. So you need not worry about the heavy drinking affecting its efficacy.
However, binge drinking is generally unhealthy and is best avoided.

I hope this was helpful. Feel free to ask queries.

Thank you.

Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy
Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
MBBS from Sri Ramachandra University in December 2011
M.Med (Family Medicine) - TNMGR University, Chennai
MBA-MPH in Public Health in March 2016, SRM University
Finished AFIH in March 2016, SRM University
MRCP ( UK ), Internal Medicine, Royal College of Physicians, June 2016
Fellowship in Diabetology from Martin Luther University in January 2017

Currently Resident Physician, in MD Radiodiagnosis - Kamakshi Memorial Hospital, Chennai
Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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