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Salix Pharmaceuticals announces Bellamy Young as Spokesperson for Xifaxan(R) (rifaximin)

Thursday, 09 May 2024 08:00 AM

Salix Pharmaceuticals

  • Xifaxan is the first and only FDA approved medication for the reduction in risk of OHE recurrence in adults
  • Overt Hepatic Encephalopathy is caused by cirrhosis of the liver
  • As complications from chronic liver disease increase, recognizing OHE is critical so that patients can work with their healthcare providers to find the right management plan for them

LAVAL, QC / ACCESSWIRE / May 9, 2024 / Bausch Health Companies Inc. (NYSE:BHC)(TSX:BHC) and its gastroenterology business, Salix Pharmaceuticals, today announced award-winning actor, Bellamy Young, as the brand ambassador in a new campaign to raise awareness of Xifaxan, the first and only FDA approved medication to reduce the risk of overt hepatic encephalopathy (OHE) recurrence in adults. Overt hepatic encephalopathy is a complication of cirrhosis that can happen when the liver cannot filter toxins from the blood, and the toxins build up and reach the brain. It is projected that as many as four out of five people with cirrhosis may eventually develop some form of HE.

"When I first started talking about OHE, the most common response I received from people was ‘I wish I knew', a sentiment that echoed my experience when my father was diagnosed with OHE. We didn't know the symptoms of OHE could persist or that it could worsen over time. But when my dad had OHE we also didn't know as much as we do today, and we didn't have the same management options," said Bellamy Young, whose father suffered from OHE when she was in high school. "I want to help today's patients and caregivers to know more than my family did with my father, and I encourage them to talk to their health care providers about managing the risk of OHE recurrence. I hope people will go to to know more."

To kick off the new Xifaxan marketing campaign, Bellamy is sharing her personal OHE story on and is in a multi-channel advertising campaign that will be seen across digital mediums, including a 60-second TV spot. Bellamy will also be engaging with HCPs, caregivers, and patients to exchange learnings about OHE by chronicling these experiences and sharing insights on her social media handles throughout the year to support others in knowing more about OHE so they can make informed decisions about disease management. As an ambassador, she will be encouraging caregivers to take an active role as a health advocate for their loved ones.

"With patients at the center of all we do, Salix is committed to driving increased conversation and education about OHE to support patients, caregivers, and Healthcare Professionals in finding the right options," said Nicola Kayel, Senior Vice President, GI Marketing, Salix.

About Overt Hepatic Encephalopathy: Overt Hepatic encephalopathy (OHE) is a complication of cirrhosis, a chronic liver disease, which can have various causes. One of the important functions of the liver is to clean the blood. When the liver is damaged, it can no longer properly clean toxins (like ammonia) from the blood. This buildup of toxins can reach the brain, potentially causing OHE and worsening brain function. Symptoms of OHE can be both physical and mental. Medications and appropriate lifestyle management, with the help of a doctor, may help manage the disease.

Symptoms of Overt Hepatic Encephalopathy may include:


  • Lack of energy or interest
  • Confusion
  • Not knowing where you are or where you're going
  • Inappropriate behavior
  • Severe personality changes


  • Sleepiness or change in sleep patterns
  • Worsening of handwriting
  • Loss of small hand movements
  • Tremors or shaking of hands or arms
  • Breath with a musty or sweet odor



XIFAXAN® (rifaximin) 550 mg tablets are indicated for the reduction in risk of overt hepatic encephalopathy (HE) recurrence in adults.


  • XIFAXAN is not for everyone. Do not take XIFAXAN if you have a known hypersensitivity to rifaximin, any of the rifamycin antimicrobial agents, or any of the components in XIFAXAN.
  • If you take antibiotics, like XIFAXAN, there is a chance you could experience diarrhea caused by an overgrowth of bacteria (C. difficile). This can cause symptoms ranging in severity from mild diarrhea to life-threatening colitis. Contact your healthcare provider if your diarrhea does not improve or worsens.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider before taking XIFAXAN if you have severe hepatic (liver) impairment, as this may cause increased effects of the medicine.
  • Tell your healthcare provider if you are taking drugs called P-glycoprotein and/or OATPs inhibitors (such as cyclosporine) because using these drugs with XIFAXAN may lead to an increase in the amount of XIFAXAN absorbed by your body.
  • In clinical studies, the most common side effects for XIFAXAN were:
    • HE: Peripheral edema (swelling, usually in the ankles or lower limbs), constipation, nausea (feeling sick to your stomach), fatigue (feeling tired), insomnia (trouble sleeping), ascites (a buildup of fluid in the abdomen), dizziness, urinary tract infection, anemia (low red blood cell levels), and itching
  • XIFAXAN may affect warfarin activity when taken together. Tell your healthcare provider if you are taking warfarin because the dose of warfarin may need to be adjusted to maintain proper blood-thinning effect.
  • If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or nursing, talk to your healthcare provider before taking XIFAXAN because XIFAXAN may cause harm to an unborn baby or nursing infant.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For product information, adverse event reports, and product complaint reports, please contact:

Salix Product Information Call Center
Phone: 1-800-321-4576
Fax: 1-510-595-8183

Please click here for full Prescribing Information.

About Salix

Salix Pharmaceuticals is one of the largest specialty pharmaceutical companies in the world committed to the prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal diseases. For more than 30 years, Salix has licensed, developed, and marketed innovative products to improve patients' lives and provide health care providers with life-changing solutions for many chronic and debilitating conditions. Salix currently markets its product line to U.S. health care providers through an expanded sales force that focuses on gastroenterology, hepatology, pain specialists, and primary care. Salix is headquartered in Bridgewater, New Jersey. For more information about Salix, visit and connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Bausch Health

Bausch Health Companies Inc. (NYSE: BHC) (TSX: BHC) is a global diversified pharmaceutical company enriching lives through our relentless drive to deliver better health outcomes. We develop, manufacture and market a range of products, primarily in gastroenterology, hepatology, neurology, dermatology, medical aesthetic devices, international pharmaceuticals, and eye health, through our controlling interest in Bausch + Lomb. Our ambition is to be a globally integrated healthcare company, trusted and valued by patients, HCPs, employees and investors. For more information, visit and connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Investor Contact: Media Contacts:
Garen Sarafian Kevin Wiggins
[email protected] [email protected]
(877) 281-6642 (toll-free) (908) 541-3785

SOURCE: Salix Pharmaceuticals

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