Rifaximin for the treatment of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection after liver transplantation: A case series

Liver Transpl. 2010 Aug;16(8):960-3. doi: 10.1002/lt.22092.


Previous data have suggested that the nonsystemic antibiotic rifaximin may be effective for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). This single-center retrospective study evaluated the efficacy of rifaximin for the treatment of CDI refractory to standard treatments in patients who had received liver transplants. Among 205 patients who had received liver transplants between July 2001 and December 2007, 3 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of C. difficile experienced recurrent diarrhea even though they received standard therapy. Patient 1, a 56-year-old male, patient 2, a 62-year-old male, and patient 3, a 73-year-old female, developed CDIs 190, 318, and 2310 days after transplantation, respectively. All patients experienced symptom recurrences after oral metronidazole therapy (250 mg 3 times daily for either 14 or 28 days) and after oral vancomycin therapy (125 mg 4 times daily for 14 days). Long-term vancomycin treatment (ie, 28 days) was required for patients 1 and 2. Vancomycin was discontinued in patient 3 because of increased creatinine levels. Oral rifaximin (400 mg 3 times daily) was initiated immediately after discontinuation of vancomycin therapy. Within 36 to 48 hours of the initiation of rifaximin treatment, diarrheal symptoms were resolved in all patients. After completing a 28-day course of rifaximin, patient 1 remained symptom-free during 185 days of follow-up, and patient 2 remained symptom-free during 250 days of follow-up. Patient 3 reported no symptoms within 155 days after the completion of rifaximin treatment. These findings suggest that rifaximin may be effective for the treatment of recurrent CDI and may provide a therapeutic option for CDI in immunocompromised patients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Clostridioides difficile / metabolism*
  • Clostridium Infections / complications
  • Clostridium Infections / drug therapy*
  • Clostridium Infections / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Diseases / complications*
  • Liver Diseases / microbiology
  • Liver Diseases / therapy
  • Liver Transplantation / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rifamycins / therapeutic use*
  • Rifaximin
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Rifamycins
  • Rifaximin