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What is the treatment for SIBO?
The treatment for SIBO includes controlling and treating any underlying
associated illness. The goal is to control the symptoms of small intestine
bacterial overgrowth since it may not be possible to "cure" the disease.
Antibiotics are one of the treatments that are helpful in controlling the
excess bacteria. It is important that not all the bacteria in the intestine are
eradicated, since some are required to help with normal digestion.
Amoxillin-clavulanate (Augmentin) and
rifamaxin (Xifaxan) are the two common first line
antibiotics that may be prescribed. Depending upon the situation, other
antibiotics may also be considered, including clindamycin, metronidazole (Flagyl),
[Cipro, Cipro XR, Proquin XR],
[Levaquin]) and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim,
While a single course of antibiotics for 1-2 weeks may be sufficient,
however, since SIBO has a tendency to relapse, repeated courses of antibiotics
may be required. In some people, the antibiotics will be routinely cycled,
meaning that they will alternate a 1-2 weeks on the antibiotic with 1-2 weeks
In addition, underlying vitamin and nutrient deficiencies due to
malabsorption should be treated.