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Generic name: rifampin (oral/injection) [rif-AM-pin]
Brand names: Rifadin, Rifadin IV, Rimactane
Dosage Forms: Available for Injection are Intravenous Powder for Injection (600 mg) and Oral Capsules of 150 mg and 300 mg respectively.

Drug class: Rifamycin derivatives

What is Rifampin?

Rifampin, an anti-tuberculosis drug, is used for the treatment or prevention of tuberculosis.Rifampin can also be used to reduce bacteria in the nose and throat, which could lead to meningitis or other infections. Rifampin can prevent you from spreading the bacteria to others, but it will not treat a meningitis-active infection.Rifampin can be used in other ways not mentioned in this guide.

Side effects of Rifampin

If you experience symptoms of an allergic response (hives or rash) or a severe reaction to the skin (fever, sore mouth, burning eyes, pain in the skin, or a red or purple rash with blistering or peeling that spreads), seek emergency medical attention.If you experience a severe drug reaction, seek medical attention. Symptoms include skin rash or hives, swollen or enlarged glands, muscle pain, weakness, and unusual bruises.

Rifampin can cause serious side effects. If you experience:

  • Severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, watery or bleeding;
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath
  • One symptom is feeling dizzy; another may be faintness.
  • Easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums);
  • If you feel your heart fluttering or pounding, then this is what it means.
  • Fever, chills, body aches, headaches, weakness, nausea and vomiting may all be signs that someone has the flu.
  • Liver problems: upper stomach pain, fatigue, loss of appetite Dark urine and clay-colored stools. Jaundice.

Rifampin can cause a variety of side effects.

  • Red discoloration on your teeth, sweat, and urine; tears.
  • Gas, heartburn;
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
  • Fever;
  • Headache, dizziness, drowsiness, tiredness;
  • Muscle weakness in the arms or legs
  • Problems with muscle or balance movement
  • Numbness
  • Confusion, behavioral changes, and difficulty concentrating

There may be other side effects. For medical advice on side effects, call your doctor. The FDA can be contacted at 1-800-FDA-1088 to report side effects.

Similar/related drugs

Doxycycline, Ciprofloxacin, Azthromycin, Metronidazole, Triamcinolone, Ceftriaxone, and Levofloxacin


Inform your doctor of all the medications you are taking, as well as any new ones. Some drugs are not to be taken together, and others can cause drug interactions.

Before you take this drug

If you have an allergy to rifampin, you should avoid using it.

Drug interactions can have dangerous side effects. Rifampin should not be taken with certain drugs. If you are also taking atazanavir, darunavir (or fosamprenavir), praziquantel (or ritonavir), saquinavir (or tipranavir), praziquantel, and ritonavir with saquinavir, it is possible for your doctor to change the treatment plan.

Tell your doctor about any of the following:

  • Diabetes;
  • Liver disease
  • Bleeding problems
  • Porphyria

Unknown is whether the medicine can harm an unborn child. Rifampin use during the last weeks of pregnancy can cause bleeding, either in the mother or newborn. Inform your doctor if you are pregnant.Rifampin may reduce the effectiveness of hormonal contraception. This includes birth-control pills and other forms such as skin patches, vaginal rings, or injections. Use a barrier birth control method to prevent pregnancy when taking rifampin: condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps, or contraceptive swabs.This medicine should not be used while breastfeeding.

How to take Rifampin?

Read all instructions or guides that come with your medication and follow all directions. Follow the directions on the label.Rifampin is taken orally. Rifampin is injected into the vein.Take the rifampin orally at least an hour before or two hours after eating. Each dose should be taken with a glass of water.You will be given rifampin by a healthcare provider. If you experience any pain or swelling when the rifampin injection is given, tell your healthcare provider.Rifampin can cause temporary discoloration in your teeth, sweat, and urine (brown, yellow, orange, or red). This side effect is usually not harmful. Soft contact lenses can be permanently stained by rifampin if worn while taking it.Dark urine is a sign that you may have liver disease. If you experience upper stomach pains, loss of appetite, and jaundice (yellowing skin or eyes), call your doctor.Do not stop taking the medicine before it is completely cleared. You may experience improvement in your symptoms before the infection has completely resolved. You may be at risk for a second infection resistant to anti-biotics if you skip doses. Rifampin does not treat a virus, such as the flu or the common cold. Do not suddenly stop taking rifampin and then restart it again without consulting your doctor. This can cause kidney problems. Rifampin should be taken until the lab tests indicate that the infection is cleared.You may need to have frequent blood tests while taking rifampin.You may get false results if you use this medicine. Tell the lab staff that you are using rifampin.Store away from moisture or heat at room temperature. When not in use, keep the bottle tightly shut.

What happens if I miss the dose?

If you are almost due for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Never take two doses of the same medicine at once.

What happens if I overdose?

Call 1-800-222-1222 for poison help or seek immediate medical attention. An overdose can worsen symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. It may also cause itching. There will be a lack of energy, which could lead to a loss of consciousness.

What should be avoided?

Avoid alcohol. Alcohol can cause liver damage. Avoid wearing contact lenses. Rifampin can permanently stain contact lenses if it discolors your tears.

Interaction with other drug

It is sometimes not safe to take certain medications together. Some drugs may affect the blood levels of drugs that you are taking, causing side effects or making them less effective. Rifampin may harm your liver if you are also taking certain medications for infection, tuberculosis or depression, birth control, hormone replacement therapy, high cholesterol or high blood pressure, or if seizures or pain are present. Several drugs interact with rifampin and should not be taken together. Inform your doctor of all the medicines you are taking and those that you have stopped using. Included are prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. This list does not include all possible interactions.



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