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Follow-on RifAximin for the prevention of recurrence following standard treatment of infection with Clostridium difficile (RAPID): a randomised placebo controlled trial

Major, Giles; Bradshaw, Lucy; Boota, Nafisa; Sprange, Kirsty; Diggle, Mathew; Montgomery, Alan; Jawhari, Aida; Spiller, Robin


Giles Major

Nafisa Boota

Mathew Diggle

Director Nottingham Clinical Trials Unit

Aida Jawhari

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Professor of Gastroenterology


Background Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) recurs after initial treatment in approximately one in four patients. A single-centre pilot study suggested that this could be reduced using ‘follow-on’ rifaximin treatment. We aimed to assess the efficacy of rifaximin treatment in preventing recurrence.

Methods A multisite, parallel group, randomised, placebo controlled trial recruiting patients aged ≥18 years immediately after resolution of CDI through treatment with metronidazole or vancomycin. Participants received either rifaximin 400 mg three times a day for 2 weeks, reduced to 200 mg three times a day for a further 2 weeks or identical placebo. The primary endpoint was recurrence of CDI within 12 weeks of trial entry.

Results Between December 2012 and March 2016, 151 participants were randomised to either rifaximin or placebo. Primary outcome data were available on 130. Mean age was 71.9 years (SD 15.3). Recurrence within 12 weeks was 29.5% (18/61) among participants allocated to placebo compared with 15.9% (11/69) among those allocated to rifaximin, a difference between groups of 13.7% (95% CI −28.1% to 0.7%, p=0.06). The risk ratio was 0.54 (95% CI 0.28 to 1.05, p=0.07). During 6-month safety follow-up, nine participants died in each group (12%). Adverse event rates were similar between groups.

Conclusion While ‘follow-on’ rifaximin after CDI appeared to halve recurrence rate, we failed to reach our recruitment target in this group of frail elderly patients, so the estimated effect of rifaximin lacks precision. A meta-analysis including a previous trial suggests that rifaximin may be effective; however, further, larger confirmatory studies are needed.

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial.


Major, G., Bradshaw, L., Boota, N., Sprange, K., Diggle, M., Montgomery, A., …Spiller, R. (2018). Follow-on RifAximin for the prevention of recurrence following standard treatment of infection with Clostridium difficile (RAPID): a randomised placebo controlled trial. Gut,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 29, 2018
Online Publication Date Sep 25, 2018
Publication Date Sep 25, 2018
Deposit Date Sep 27, 2018
Publicly Available Date Sep 27, 2018
Print ISSN 0017-5749
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Public URL
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