La Clinica terapeutica

[Role of rifaximin in the treatment of colonic diverticular disease].

PMID 22362232


Diverticular disease of the colon is the fifth most important gastrointestinal disease in terms of direct and indirect healthcare costs in western countries. Although most patients with colonic diverticula remain asymptomatic for their whole life, in 20-25% of cases will develop symptoms. Antibiotics are commonly used in the treatment of inflammatory complication of diverticular disease. Several clinical observation suggest a role of rifaximin in the management of symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease of the colon. This is a critical review of clinical studies addressing the role of long term administration of rifaximin for the treatment of symptomatic colonic diverticular disease. The evidence from prospective controlled trials suggests that rifaximin is effective for obtaining symptomatic relief in patients with uncomplicated diverticular disease. The therapeutic gain compared with fiber supplementation only is approximately 30%. No definitive conclusion can be drawn regard a possible role of rifaximin for preventing diverticulitis.