This post is meant to raise awareness of irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D) and a treatment option that sufferers can ask their doctor about.
This is a sponsored post. Salix Pharmaceuticals compensated me for this post. All opinions are my own. Certain product information has been included to meet regulations.
As many of you know, I like to approach women’s health topics candidly on Romy Raves, and lately I find myself more interested in exploring health and wellness challenges that are relevant to women. Last month, I wrote an enlightening post on Osteoporosis and today, in honor of IBS Awareness Month, I am discussing Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a common intestinal disease associated with unpredictable bowel movements.
About 1 in every 10 Americans suffer from IBS, and people who have family members who suffer from IBS are more than twice as likely to develop the problem themselves. People with IBS usually have stomach (abdominal) pain at least 1 day a week, for at least 3 months, and if more than 25% of bowel movements are loose or watery and less than 25% are hard or lumpy, it could be Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Diarrhea (IBS-D).
While doing my research for this post, I found out that approximately 40% of people with IBS have IBS-D and that it affects both men and women almost equally (which was surprising to me). The exact cause of IBS-D is unknown, but it is believed that one of the possible causes is an imbalance in the gut bacteria that may lead to IBS-D symptoms. Other possible causes of IBS-D include communication problems between the brain and the digestive system and problems with the immune system.
Living with IBS-D can take a toll on a person’s life. People with IBS-D symptoms tend to feel frustrated and embarrassed by their condition, and therefore they tend to limit situations where there isn’t a bathroom nearby. They tend to avoid social engagements, long car/plane rides and going on vacation because they fear not making it to the bathroom on time.
In preparation for writing this post, I had an honest chat with a very close girlfriend of mine who has struggled with IBS-D for many years, and I asked her what her biggest challenges were related to this condition. Aside from the on and off physical pain and discomfort, her biggest frustration about having IBS-D is loss of control of her bodily functions. In other words, she’s sometimes worried about having uncontrollable gas in public as well as not being able to make it to the bathroom on time. Honestly, I was really surprised by the high level of anxiety that she struggles with and the significant impact it has had on her life.
Given the significant impact that IBS-D can have on everyday life, I was shocked to learn that nearly two in five people with IBS-D wait more than three years before seeing a doctor about their symptoms. What?! And although there is no cure for IBS-D, there are treatments that address the symptoms, and today I would like to tell you about one of them.
XIFAXAN® is a prescription antibiotic that works mainly in the digestive tract to treat IBS-D in adults. It is the only FDA-approved treatment that alters the bacteria in your gut that have been linked to symptoms of IBS-D. XIFAXAN is a short-term treatment, taken every day for 2 weeks, and it provides up to 6 months of relief (range of 6-24 weeks; average of 10 weeks) from IBS-D symptoms. If symptoms return, you can be retreated up to two times with XIFAXAN, however it is not something that you take indefinitely.
To anyone suffering with IBS-D, I encourage you talk to your doctor about treatment options, as having an open conversation is an important step in managing your symptoms.
Xifaxan Important Safety Information:
XIFAXAN® (rifaximin) 550 mg tablets are indicated for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D) in adults.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
- XIFAXAN is not for everyone. Do not take XIFAXAN if you have a known hypersensitivity to rifaximin, any of the rifamycin antimicrobial agents, or any of the components in XIFAXAN.
- If you take antibiotics, like XIFAXAN, there is a chance you could experience diarrhea caused by an overgrowth of bacteria (C. difficile). This can cause symptoms ranging in severity from mild diarrhea to life-threatening colitis. Contact your healthcare provider if your diarrhea does not improve or worsens.
- Talk to your healthcare provider before taking XIFAXAN if you have severe hepatic (liver) impairment, as this may cause increased effects of the medicine.
- Tell your healthcare provider if you are taking drugs called P-glycoprotein and/or OATPs inhibitors (such as cyclosporine) because using these drugs with XIFAXAN may lead to an increase in the amount of XIFAXAN absorbed by your body.
- In clinical studies, the most common side effects of XIFAXAN in IBS-D were nausea (feeling sick to your stomach) and an increase in liver enzymes.
- XIFAXAN may affect warfarin activity when taken together. Tell your healthcare provider if you are taking warfarin because the dose of warfarin may need to be adjusted to maintain proper blood-thinning effect.
- If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or nursing, talk to your healthcare provider before taking XIFAXAN because XIFAXAN may cause harm to an unborn baby or nursing infant.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch/ or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
For product information, adverse event reports, and product complaint reports, please contact:
Salix Product Information Call Center
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