The International Liver Congress (ILC) 2016: Rifaximin Use in Cirrhosis-Related Hepatological Disorders and New Perspectives

Summary of the presentations on rifaximin from the Annual European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) meeting held in Barcelona, Spain, from 13th–17th April 2016

Caroline Charles

Scilink Medical Writing, Biarritz, France.
*Correspondence to scilink.mw@gmail.com

Disclosure: The author has declared no conflicts of interest.
Support: The publication of this article was funded by Alfa Wasserman. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily of Alfa Wasserman.
Received: 27.04.16 Accepted: 20.05.16
Citation: EMJ Hepatol. 2016;4[1]:65-68.

Abstract

Rifaximin (RFX)-α is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that targets commensal gut bacteria and reduces the excess ammonia produced by the gut bacteria of patients with cirrhosis. This innovative agent has been approved in most European countries for several therapeutic indications, including the prevention of episodes of overt hepatic encephalopathy (HE) in adult patients. New data on RFX use in HE were presented at the International Liver Congress (ILC), namely the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) held in Barcelona, Spain, from 13th–17th April 2016.

The beneficial effects of RFX have been attributed to the antibiotic action against a broad spectrum of gut bacteria, accompanied by the advantage of its very poor systemic absorption generating a gastrointestinal tropism. More recently, data are accumulating to suggest that other non-antibacterial effects contribute to RFX efficacy, making it a very interesting option for enteric diseases. RFX is thus explored outside of HE, in both cirrhotic and non-cirrhotic patients.

This review aims to highlight the presentations from ILC 2016 focussing on RFX developments in clinical research.

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