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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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Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian is online now

Expert:  Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian replied 4 Days.

Thank you for your query at DoctorSpring.com.

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. Deepu Sebin Sebastian
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MD, Internal Medicine - Stanley Medical School
Medical School - MBBS - Govt. Medical College, Kottyaam

Diagnostic Prediction - Stanford School of Medicine
Received Specialty training in Critical Care, Cardiology, Neurology, Gastroenterology, Nephrology from Stanley Medical College and in Endocrinology, Rheumatology.

Hematology and Geriatrics from Madras Medical College.
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