Rifampin (By mouth)

Introduction

Rifampin (rif-AM-pin)

Treats tuberculosis (TB) and other types of infections. It is also used by patients who have a meningitis bacteria in their nose or throat who do not show symptoms of the infection. This medicine is an antibiotic.

Brand Name(s)

Rifadin

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine

Capsule, Liquid, Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
  • Take this medicine on an empty stomach, 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal, and with a full of glass of water. It is important to take rifampin on a regular schedule.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup. Shake the oral liquid well before using.
  • Take all of the medicine in your prescription to clear up your infection, even if you feel better after the first few doses.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. You may store the mixed oral liquid at room temperature or in a refrigerator for 4 weeks.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not use this medicine if you also take medicine to treat HIV/AIDS, including atazanavir, darunavir, fosamprenavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, and tipranavir.
  • Some medicines can affect how rifampin works. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:
    • Atovaquone, clofibrate, cotrimoxazole, cyclosporine, dapsone, diazepam, digitoxin, digoxin, enalapril, haloperidol, halothane, levothyroxine, methadone, probenecid, quinine, sulfapyridine, sulfasalazine, tacrolimus, theophylline, or zidovudine
    • Birth control pills
    • Blood pressure medicine (including beta blockers, calcium channel blockers)
    • Blood thinner (including warfarin)
    • Medicine for heart rhythm problems (including disopyramide, mexiletine, quinidine, tocainide)
    • Medicine for seizures (including phenytoin)
    • Medicine to treat depression (including TCA)
    • Medicine to treat diabetes
    • Medicine to treat infections (including chloramphenicol, ciprofloxacin, clarithromycin, doxycycline, fluconazole, isoniazid, itraconazole, ketoconazole)
    • Narcotic pain reliever
    • Steroid medicine
  • If you use an antacid, take it at least 1 hour after you use rifampin.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, or porphyria (an enzyme problem). Tell your doctor if you drink alcohol.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), which can damage organs, including the liver, kidney, or heart
    • Liver damage
  • This medicine may turn your urine, bowel movements, saliva, sweat, and tears red. This is normal. This side effect could stain contact lenses.
  • This medicine may make you bleed, bruise, or get infections more easily. Take precautions to prevent illness and injury. Wash your hands often.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
  • Blurred vision
  • Dark urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, yellow skin or eyes
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, body aches
  • Numbness, pain, or tingling in your arms or legs
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Headache, dizziness
  • Mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 10/4/2017

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch)

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2013 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.