Is there a cheaper alternative for Xifaxan (rifaximin)? Is the generic available?

Written by Lucia Mueller | Reviewed by a licensed U.S. pharmacist | Posted July 30, 2019 | Updated November 19, 2021

Xifaxan (rifaximin) is an expensive medication prescribed for the treatment of traveler's diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea. This drug can also help prevent the recurrence of certain liver problems.

Xifaxan is a very popular medication and the pharmaceutical industry is cashing in. It’s not covered by most insurance plans in the U.S., so paying for it can certainly be daunting. And who wants a steep medication bill on top of dealing with IBS?

Xifaxan (rifaximin) Savings

The average U.S. retail price for 60 Xifaxan 550 mg tablets is $2,686.95. To make matters worse in your hunt for affordable alternatives, the generic isn’t available at local pharmacies, so cost relief won’t exactly be around the corner domestically. Hint: the generic is thankfully available to order online internationally!

While you can absolutely save money on the brand by shopping online, the steeper discounts on the generic are certainly nothing to balk at, especially when you know it’s coming from accredited pharmacies that are properly licensed in the country where they are located. View the chart below to see what I mean.

Comparing Xifaxan (rifaximin) Brand & Generic Costs

Drug Strength (Quantity) U.S. Average Retail Price U.S. Prescription Discount Card Price Canadian Pharmacy Price (with shipping) International Pharmacy Price (with shipping)
Xifaxan 550 mg (60 tablets) $2,686.95 $2,480.20 $713.74 $710.05
Rifaximin (generic Xifaxan) 550 mg (60 tablets) Not available in the U.S. Not available in the U.S. Not available at Canadian pharmacies $70.99

Prices recorded July 2019

When shopping internationally, it’s important to note different names under which rifaximin may be marketed. Arming yourself with this information will ensure that you get the medicine you need, in addition to protecting your wallet. For example, Xifaxan (rifaximin) is also shipped internationally under the names Targaxan, Xifaxanta, and Zaxine.

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Other Ways to Cut Xifaxan Costs

Talk to your doc!

Work with your clinician or pharmacist to find a cheaper therapeutic alternative to Xifaxan. Don’t be shy about talking cost! High prices in the U.S. are swiftly becoming the norm, and your health care providers are there to make sure you adhere to your prescribed drug therapies. Currently, Xifaxan is the only antibiotic specifically for IBS approved by the FDA. However, there are alternative medications often used to manage IBS symptoms such as Lubiprostone (Amitiza), Linaclotide (Linzess), and Dicyclomine hydrochloride (Bentyl). Alternative antibiotics for traveler’s diarrhea may include: Azithromycin, Levofloxacin, Ciprofloxacin, Ofloxacin, and Rifamycin SV.

Xifaxan $0 Copay Savings Card

Do you already have insurance and are just suffering from an annoying copay for Xifaxan? The Xifaxan website advertises a savings card through which “most eligible patients with commercial insurance and coverage may pay as little as $0 for their Xifaxan prescription.” If you have insurance, this is definitely worth looking into.

Xifaxan Patient Assistance Programs

PharmacyChecker has a search tool right on our website that allows you to browse patient assistance programs offered on your meds. There are two available for Xifaxan.

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Where is Xifaxan and generic Rifaximin manufactured?

Xifaxin sold at your local U.S. pharmacy is not made in the U.S. In fact, 71% of brand-name medication sold in the U.S. are manufactured outside of the U.S. Packaging of Xifaxan sold in the United States shows that it is made in Canada. The generic Rifaximin, sold at accredited online pharmacies, is manufactured in India. As noted before, Xifaxan is shipped internationally under the names Targaxan, which is manufactured in the UK; Xifaxanta, which is a product of the EU/UK; and Zaxine, sold in Canada.  Xifaxan Packaging Label

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What causes traveler’s diarrhea?

Sometimes, traveler’s diarrhea hits people from stress associated with traveling. Other times, it’s a result of contaminated food or water. The locals may not be affected by the same food or water you eat because they have developed a natural immunity to the bacteria in that area.

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Tips for Dealing with Traveler’s Diarrhea

You may be able to avoid the need to take Xifaxan (rifaximin) or other medications if you take certain preventative actions.  Here are two simple rules for avoiding diarrhea while traveling: 1) Be mindful of what you eat and drink sterilized or bottled water only; 2) Only consumer prepared meals if they are boiled, cooked, or peeled.

More often than not, traveler's diarrhea starts, quite inconveniently, as soon as people arrive at their destinations. The majority of cases improve without treatment within one to two days and all symptoms disappear within a week. Please remember rifaximin will not be effective in treating traveler's diarrhea that is bloody or that occurs in conjunction with a fever.

Common signs and symptoms of traveler's diarrhea are:

    •    Rapid onset of passing of over three loose stools a day     •    Nausea     •    Abdominal cramping     •    Urgent need to pass stools     •    Vomiting     •    Fever

If symptoms of high fever, bloody stools, and unbearable abdominal pain with diarrhea last longer than two days, you should consult your health care provider as soon as possible. If you prefer a doctor that speaks your language while traveling, a local embassy or consulate will certainly be able to help you locate one.

Tips on eating while traveling:

    •    Don't eat from street vendors.     •    Don’t consume unpasteurized milk and dairy products, including ice cream.     •    Don’t consume raw or undercooked meat, fish and shellfish.     •    Only consume foods that are well cooked and served hot.     •    Only eat fruits and vegetables that you can peel, like bananas, oranges, and avocados.     •    Avoid fruits like grapes or berries.

Tips on drinking while traveling:

    •    Avoid unsterilized water. If you must consume local water, boil for at least three minutes.     •    Avoid ice cubes made with local water.     •    Avoid juices made with local water.     •    Avoid swimming in water that may be contaminated.     •    Keep your mouth closed while showering and swimming.     •    In high risk areas use bottled water to brush your teeth.

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