Efficacy of rifaximin in the treatment of symptomatic diverticular disease of the colon. A multicentre double-blind placebo-controlled trial

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 1995 Feb;9(1):33-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.1995.tb00348.x.


Background and aims: In a recent open trial we have shown the efficacy of long term intermittent administration of a poorly absorbable antibiotic (rifaximin) in obtaining symptomatic relief in uncomplicated diverticular disease of the colon. The aim of this double-blind placebo-controlled trial was to test our previous observations.

Methods: One hundred and sixty-eight outpatients with symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease were treated with fibre supplementation (glucomannan 2 g/day) plus rifaximin 400 mg b.d. for 7 days every month (84 patients), or with glucomannan 2 g/day plus placebo two tablets b.d. for 7 days every month (84 patients). Clinical evaluation was performed at admission and at three-month intervals for 12 months.

Results: After 12 months, 68.9% of the patients treated with rifaximin were symptom-free or mildly symptomatic, compared to 39.5% in the placebo group (P = 0.001). Symptoms such as bloating and abdominal pain or discomfort were primarily affected by antibiotic treatment when compared with placebo (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: Rifaximin appears to be of some advantage in obtaining symptomatic relief in diverticular disease of the colon when compared with fibre supplementation alone.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fiber / therapeutic use
  • Diverticulitis, Colonic / drug therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Synergism
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mannans / administration & dosage
  • Mannans / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Rifamycins / administration & dosage
  • Rifamycins / therapeutic use*
  • Rifaximin


  • Dietary Fiber
  • Mannans
  • Rifamycins
  • (1-6)-alpha-glucomannan
  • Rifaximin