Saturday, May 5, 2012

Saturday Study: Rifaximin for moderate to severe Crohn’s disease

In this study which was published in the March 2012 issue of Gastroenterology the investigators found that using 800 mg of rifaximin two times a day for 3 months induced remission with very few side effects.

Three different doses were given: 400, 800 and 1200 mg. At the end of the three months 62% of patients taking the 800 mg dose were in remission. A lower percentage (only 54% for 400 mg and 47% for 1200 mg) achieved remission. It is interesting how the highest dose was not the most effective. There might be some sweet spot to this type of medicine. Patients given the 400 and 800 mg doses also suffered from fewer side effects.

I found an older study which studied patients who received rifaximin from 2001-2005. The study showed that 65% of patients went into remission. The dosage was 600 mg. The remission rate was 70% for people who were not on corticosteroids (Prednisone).

Perhaps rifaximin can be used as another tool in the war against Crohn’s. Rifaximin is used to treat traveler’s diarrhea caused by e-coli.  There is the MAP theory which I blogged about here (still controversial).If a test for MAP does come within the next couple of years perhaps researchers could study the effects on those that take rifaximin who have MAP present in their systems and people who don’t have it in their systems to see how effective it is.

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