Please consult your physician before taking any medication. Generic Name: rifaximin (rif AX i min) Rifaximin is an antibiotic that fights bacterial infection only in the intestines. Rifaximin works differently from other antibiotics because it passes through your stomach and into your intestines without being absorbed into your blood stream. Because rifaximin treats only the intestinal tract, it will not treat infections of other parts of the body. Rifaximin is used to treat travelers diarrhea caused by E. coli in adults and children who are at least 12 years old. Most people get this infection by eating food or drinking fluids that have been contaminated with the bacteria. Rifaximin is also used to lower the risk of worsened brain function, or hepatic encephalopathy (he-PAT-ik en-SEF-a-LOP-ath-ee), in adults with liver failure. Brain function can be affected when the liver stops working and cannot remove toxic substances from the body. Rifaximin may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.