SIBO and Xifaxan

Really conflicted here.
Doc wants me to try Xifaxan for SIBO.
Problem.
No drug coverage for that one cost to me 617.
Is it worth a try at that price?
Huge expense to me.

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23 replies. Join the discussion

Have you already tried Flagyl?

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No.
Cipro Bactrim Augmentin

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My GI specialist had me take Flagyl and it is available in generic. Some people have side effects...supposedly more then Xifaxan but I was ok with it and I'm super hypersensitive to most drugs.

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I HAD A MED MY INSURANCE WOULD NOT COVER I GOOGLED CHEAP PRESCRIPTIONS AND THERE WERE COUPONS AVAILABLE. I DON'T KNOW IF YOU HAVE A COSTCO BUT A LOT OF THE TIME THEY ARE CHEAPER THAN MOST PHARMACIES. COULD YOUR DOCTOR CALL THE INSURANCE COMPANY - BECAUSE YOU HAVE TRIED OTHER MEDS AND THEY HAVEN'T WORKED
THERE WOULD BE NO WAY I COULD AFFORD IT.

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Can you fight your insurance company as you have failed other medications? Insurance companies are notorious for turning patients down on first request. What's the saying about the squeaky wheel? This isn't the time to sit back and just take what they say. Does your insurance company have a nurse advocate, if so please call and speak w/ him or her? I found if the doctor writes a letter that it is medically necessary, they may cover it. Good luck.

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I had the same problem. I tried all the other drugs, and none of them worked. It took two rounds of 3x a day (of the 550's), then a months of once a day to break up a really bad SIBO for me. Blue cross PPO wouldn't cover it. I called xifaxan and they have a whole helpline set up. They will fight your insurance, although to be honest I didn't get any money back yet. They seem very unorganized. But, they did send me a $100 off cupon that entitles me to $100 off every 30 days. I am now working with a lawyer. They tell me that the fact that I didn't respond (and actually got worse) following treatment with covered drugs, and then DID respond positively to the xifaxan 550 is empiricle (sp?) eidence that I need the xifaxan and he passionately believes I will get my money back. That being said, I don't have the warm fuzzy feeling about it yet, since I had to borrow the money for the medicine and no one has been paid back yet.
Good luck. Please share if you work something out - I am still looking for any and all advice on this one.

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Forgot to mention this - my tax accountant used the xifaxan reciepts to claim as unreimbursed medical expenses and get a tax credit/refund for it. Again, I will have to report back later on whether or not it worked.
According to my GI, xifaxan is up for relabeling by the FDA to add SIBO to the label, which would then make it illegal for insurance to deny you. But, as I told him when it happened to me, that was of little comfort as I stood at the rite aid counter trading my savings, my friends money, and my dogs milkbone money for the small bottle of pills.
Feeling better was a great side-effect though!!!

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If its not on the formulary it doesnt matter what the FDA says.

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I just finished a week on Xifaxin. It's been, what, about ten days since the last one. I haven't noticed any difference in the day-to-day of my disease except for a slight ease of nausea. I wonder if it was the anti-biotic that was tweaking out my stomach. Still, it is supposed to be a great drug for killing gut bacteria. Luckily, Medicare covered it so all I had was the $3.30 co-pay (three times more than I usually pay at Walgreen's but as I do with Cymbalta, the higher copay is given for name brands). Don't let my lack of noticeable change scare you off, though. My GP is mild except for the episodes which are few and far-between now and just hellish. You have a worse scenario so you might see a marked change on the Xafaxin. But gees, that's a lot of money for a pill. The drug industry sometimes feels like a bunch of pirates. Sick and hurting people should never be restricted from the meds that would make a person's life better, that would clear up or lessen the symptoms. Especially with something like this! You've got a battle going on in there, and should have the best arsenal you can possibly get.

I'm with the Jan on this. Take the insurance company and shake it vigorously. Hold onto its ears while you do.

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My son tried it without success after jumping through hoops with insurance.

Couple things--one, I have a from the manufacturer to reimburse some costs--you are welcome to have.
Second, use the manufacturer to pursue the issue with your insurance---the docs office has to provide info but they will take up this cause. Last some manufacturers have plans to help when things are not covered.

If you want the card-post me prvately and I can drop it in he mail

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There are other, less expensive drugs you can try. Due to many allergies, I used to be on doxycycline one week every month for my SIBO.

Mimi

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Flaygyl is very difficult to tolerate sometimes. It's hard on the gut.

Mimi

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Cookielessmonster made a great suggestion. Sometimes calling the drug company will help. Lots of drug companies give away some free medication to those who cannot afford it. It's worth a try. I've never had any luck with any antibiotics for my SIBO, unfortunately. But good luck to you!

Mimi

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have your physician write a prior auth to your insurance company. That should have been done right away by the dr. Also xifaxin has a little plastic credit card that saves you up to $100.00 every thirty days. Your clinic shoud have these cards also. If not, go to xifaxin.com and it will be there for you to print out and fill out the form and you will get a hard card in the mail use the paper one til it comes. I had sibo for months and months. The only thing that helped me was flagyl and xifaxin together. I had it quite bad and if your eating sugar STOP!! Sugar will help the bacteria ferment in your intestines and it will never go away. Slide off of sugar for a while and see what happens. I can only have sugar when I sneak it once in a while. I even have to watch for it in bread and anything I buy at the store. Read the labels at the grocery store and you will see what I mean. Its in everything even frozen french fries and thanksgiving turkey. It comes in all forms too not just the word sugar. Its corn syrup solids, beet cane, caine crystals, fructose, dextrose.... list goes on and on. Google " types of sugar" and read all the different things that are sugar but with a different name. Until your sibo is gone stay away from grapes, apples and bananas they are high on the scale for sugar too. Good luck Hugs O

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Xifaxin didn't work for the type of bacteria I had. Now, I use Flagyl and it works every time. There are several meds you can try...consult with your doctor. :)

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Thanks for all the help.
Nurse called me late Friday looking to switch to something else.

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I've been on Xifaxan for years and it has gotten so pricey (I have PPO insurance that DOES NOT cover it) that I just can't take it anymore. It helps me considerably with the bloating and nausea, but it's impossible to afford. I recently read that the FDA has delayed (and possibly even rejected) the use of Xifaxan 550 mg for IBS, so it's not looking promising anytime soon...

Generic Xifaxan is available in Canada, but whether it is as efficacious as the brand name or not is still up for debate. It's kind of a gamble if you shell out a couple hundred bucks for the generic form and it does/doesn't work vs. paying the outrageous price for brand. I haven;t taken it for nearly 7 weeks and my condition had pretty much stayed the same or a tiny drop worse. With the exorbitant price, it's just not sustainable in addition to my mounting medical bills that come in everyday.

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I have used Xifaxin in the past, 7 days a month, each month. I did not find that it worked as well a Flagyl. I think it is wise to try other drugs before shelling out that kind of money on Xifaxin.

Good luck.

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Can you call the drug company and tell them the situation? sometimes they will bring the price down. Or - ask a pharmacist which other drug would be comparable?

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Could you please email the information? My address is kavehmohmand@yahoo.com. I have been trying to get it approved through BCBS with no luck...

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