Review--antibiotic treatment in inflammatory bowel disease: rifaximin, a new possible approach.Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 1999 Jan-Feb; 3(1):27-30.ER
The etiology of inflammatory disease is still unknown, but a body of evidence from clinical and experimental observation indicates a role for intestinal microflora in the pathogenesis of this disease. Reduction of microflora using antibiotics, bowel rest and fecal diversion decreases activity in Crohn's disease and in ulcerative colitis. Several trials have been carried out on the use of antibiotic treatment in patients with active ulcerative colitis with contrasting results. A number of trials have been carried out using Rifaximin, a non-absorbable broad-spectrum antibiotic, confirming the absence of systemic bioavalaibility of the drug even when administered at very high doses and for prolonged periods. It may therefore be useful in treatment of ulcerative colitis and pouchitis, since its absorption through inflamed mucosa is negligible, it maintains a topical action without systemic effects and the lack of resistant bacterial strains may allow prolonged and repeated treatments.