|Type of medicine||Macrocyclic antibacterial|
|Used for||The treatment of Clostridium difficile infections in adults|
Infection with Clostridium difficile bacteria (often called 'C. diff') commonly occurs in people who have recently had a course of antibiotics and are in hospital. The symptoms can range from mild diarrhoea to a life-threatening inflammation of the bowel. No treatment may be needed in mild cases apart from drinking plenty of fluids, but treatment with antibiotics is needed in more severe cases. Even after treatment, some people may have spores from the bacteria still living in their bowel. This means that re-infection can occur.
Fidaxomicin is a new type of antibiotic used for the treatment of Clostridium difficile. It works by killing the bacteria causing the infection which helps to reduce the associated diarrhoea. After taking fidaxomicin, the medicine is not absorbed into your body but instead stays in your bowel. This targets the bacteria and spores, and helps reduce the risk of further bouts of infection.
Before taking fidaxomicin
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking fidaxomicin it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you have kidney or liver problems.
- If you have an inflammatory bowel disorder.
- If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to any medicine.
How to take fidaxomicin
- Before you start this antibiotic, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The leaflet will give you more information about fidaxomicin, and a full list of possible side-effects from taking it.
- Take fidaxomicin tablets exactly as your doctor has told you. The usual dose is one tablet taken twice daily (once every 12 hours) for 10 days. Your dose will also be on the label of the pack.
- Try to take the tablets at the same times each day, as this will help you to remember to take them. You can take fidaxomicin before or after your meals.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember (unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case leave out the missed dose). Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Make sure you keep any appointments with your doctor so your progress can be monitored.
- Space the doses of fidaxomicin evenly throughout the day. It is important you keep taking the tablets until the course is finished, even if you feel better, unless you are told otherwise by your doctor. This is because if you stop taking the tablets too soon your infection may come back.
- This antibiotic may stop the oral typhoid vaccine from working. If you are having any vaccinations, make sure the person treating you knows that you are taking this medicine.
- If you buy any medicines, always check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with your other medicines.
Can fidaxomicin cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common fidaxomicin side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicine||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Feeling or being sick||Stick to simple meals - avoid rich or spicy foods|
|Constipation||Try to eat a well-balanced diet containing plenty of fruit, vegetables and fibre. Drink several glasses of water each day|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store fidaxomicin
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 63rd Edition (Mar 2012) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
- Manufacturer's PIL, Dificlir® 200 mg film-coated tablets; Manufacturer's PIL, Dificlir® 200 mg film-coated tablets, Astellas Pharma Ltd, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated March 2012.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Prof Cathy Jackson|
|Last Checked: 19/07/2012||Document ID: 13919 Version: 1||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.