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Fidaxomicin (Dificid) & C Difficile – 6 key facts you should know

Fidaxomicin (trade name Dificid) is a new type of antibiotic. It is taken orally and has a low impact on the bloodstream. It kills the target bacteria and has been shown to kill Clostridium difficile without attacking the many healthy bacteria found in the normal, healthy intestine. This in turn lessens the chance of further C Diff attacks.

Dificid and Dificlr

These are 2 of the trade names under which it is marketed around the world. Studies looking at the effectiveness of the drug are common and links to these can be found below.

When is Fidaxomicin prescribed?

Because it is a recently developed drug it is expensive. It is therefore likely to be prescribed when other C.difficile drugs have failed. Given the expense of treating C. difficile some make a case for prescribing it for moderate cases as the cost of prolonged treatment may be more than the short term cost of Fidaxomicin.

This is reinforced by a study that suggests that patients treated with Dificid shed less c difficile in their surroundings. This has a significant impact on transmission in the hospital context. This is clearly a positive for other patients but reductions in C Diff rates mean less likelihood of financial penalties from government bodies and will be a goal that insurers will want to encourage as it lowers their cost.

How does Fidaxomicin work?

It has been developed by Optimer Pharmaceuticals. It works by inhibiting the bacterial enzyme RNA polymerase. This results in the death of the Clostridium difficile bacteria. This in turn means that further attacks are less common when treated with this drug.

Studies into length of treatment suggest that 5 days is barely enough. 20 days is too much with respect to a small number of other gut bacteria impacted by Dificid that need time to recover. Tapered dosing patterns both inhibit the infection and give the stomach flora some time to recover.

Are there known side effects?

Studies so far show these to be mild. They include ‘feeling hot’ and a daytime sleepiness condition called hypersomnia.

In depth medical background

For more technical information and the background to Fidaxomicin (Dificid) check Wikipedia

Other C Difficile Drugs & Treatment

Recent Fidaxomicin News

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  1. Irena Irena

    I got C.Diff. from Clindamycin, and then I was on different antibiotics for 3 months – they were failing. So I found a Naturopathic doctor, because I felt that I need to do everything possible to restore my good bacteria. And first thing she said was: no sugar, no wheat, no dairy for a month. Plus I had to take a large dose of Probiotics, and some other supplements, and it’s been 6 weeks now without the symptoms. So hopefully I’m cured for good. My advice is: find a good Naturopathic Doctor and follow the instructions very precisely.

  2. I was treated with dificid for about 28 days–50 pills. The C.Diff hasn’t returned but I have had chills and headaches for close to a year. Is this a side effect of Dificid

    • That is a slightly longer than usual days of treatment. There is no literature at this time about extended side effects. There may be an other cause altogether. You should seek medical advice

  3. L. Wimsatt L. Wimsatt

    I have had C diff since Jan. and it is now May. My family dr. placed me on Ceptin back in Jan. and it gave me C diff. He then placed me on Vancomycin in Feb.was tested again but still had it. He send me to a GI dr which placed me on Metronidazole, test again still had it. Then placed me on Vancomycin again for 10 days. Still had it. And again placed me on Vancomycin 4 a dayfor 10 day and now 1 pill every 3 days. The GI dr send me to a infectious disease control. He told me about fecal transplant at UK research.I have research the treatments for C diff and saw the antibiotic called fidaxomicin and was wonder if this would be just another antibiotic that wouldn’t work for me. The cost is very high for this antibiotic. So have requested my dr to see if I could get into UK. Wish I knew if this fidaxomicin would work for me.

    • Infection Watch Infection Watch

      Fidaxomicin is known to eradicate C Diff rather than just suppressing it. It is well worth exploring more. – This article indicates why

      Do you live in the USA – there are many transplant providers there?

      Dave Roberts

  4. Roselle tazza Roselle tazza

    Thank you soo much for your knowledge! I was a pediatric nurse but I am lacking when dealing with these super bugs!

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