Brand names of rifampin

  • Rifadin
  • Rifadin IV
  • Rifamate [CD]
  • Rifater [CD]
  • Rimactane
  • Rofact

Rifampin is an antibiotic drug that is used for treating or putting off the occurrence of tuberculosis (TB). This medication stops bacteria from spreading inside the body.

In addition, rifampin may also be prescribed for getting rid of bacteria from the throat or nose, which may result in the occurrence of meningitis and additional infections, even in the event of not being infected earlier. Rifampin also helps in stopping you from infecting other people with bacteria. However, this medication is not effective in any infection attributable to bacteria.

Things you need to tell your physician before taking rifampin

Prior to beginning treatment with rifampin, it is important to tell your physician or pharmacist whether you have allergic reactions to rifabutin (Mycobutin), rifapentine (Priftin), any different medicine, or any of the elements contained by rifampin capsules. If you are not sure about the ingredients of rifampin ask your pharmacist to provide you with a list of the same.

Before you start taking rifampin, also tell your physician if you are either taking atazanavir (Reyataz), tipranavir (Aptivus), saquinavir (Invirase), fosamprenavir (Lexiva) or ritonavir (Norvir), and a combination of saquinavir (Invirase) and ritonavir (Norvir). In case you are taking any of the medications mentioned above, it is most likely that your physician will advice you not to take rifampin.

In addition, inform your physician as well as pharmacist about all the prescription and over-the-counter drugs, dietary supplements, herbal products and vitamins you are already taking or intend to take soon. In case you are taking any antacid, you should take them no less than an hour after taking rifampin.

Before taking rifampin for the first time, you should also tell your physician about your entire medical conditions, especially if you have ever suffered or are suffering from diabetes, any liver ailment, porphyria (a condition wherein specific natural substances accumulate in the body and this may result in stomach aches, alterations in your thoughts and behavior, or additional symptoms), any medical condition that has an effect on the adrenal glands (a little gland adjacent to the kidney, which makes vital natural substances).

Also inform your physician if you are wearing soft contact lenses, because use of rifampin may result in the formation of perpetual red colored marks on the contact lenses.

Ahead of using rifampin, you need to tell your physician or pharmacist regarding your complete medical history, particularly about diabetes, HIV infection, hepatitis and/ or if you have been using or abusing alcohol. This medication has the aptitude to make you feel drowsy or lightheaded. Therefore, it is advisable that while undergoing treatment with rifampin you should not undertake any task that requires attentiveness, such as driving or operating a machine, till such time when you are certain about the effects of the medication on your body and also till the time when you are confident that you can carry on these duties in a safe manner. At the same time, you should restrict your consumption of alcoholic beverages while undergoing treatment with rifampin.

In case you require undergoing any type of surgery, including a dental surgery, tell your surgeon/ dentist that you are taking rifampin.

Pregnant women should use rifampin only when it is absolutely necessary for treating their condition. If this medication is used during the final few weeks of pregnancy, it may augment the risk of bleeding in the mother as well as the newborn. In case you notice any sign of bleeding in the infant, contact your physician at once. It is important for pregnant women to talk over the benefits as well as the potential risks of using this medication in that condition. It has been found that this medication passes onto the breast milk. Therefore, it is advisable that new mothers taking rifampin should consult their physician prior to breast feeding.


Rifampin is used for treating all types of tuberculosis (TB). However, this medication should always be used in combination with another anti-tubercular medication. It is also used to put off the spread of tuberculosis by people who carry the germ, but themselves do not suffer from the active disease. Rifampin is also prescribed for treating additional infections attributable to bacteria as well as for persons who have already come in contact with specific forms of bacteria that are responsible for meningitis.

How to use rifampin

Ideally, rifampin should be taken on an empty stomach with one full glass (8 oz) of water about one hour prior to or two hours following meals. Alternately, you may take the medication as per your physician's instructions. In case you experience nausea, never take antacids in combination with rifampin, as it will diminish the usefulness of this medication. Nevertheless, in case you require taking antacids, take them no less than an hour after having this medication.

In case you find difficulty in swallowing rifampin capsules, you may also open them and intersperse their content on a spoonful of cold jelly or applesauce. Ingest the whole mixture right away. Never prepare any supply for later user. Provided you are taking rifampin in its liquid form, you should always shake the bottle properly prior to taking every dose. Preferably, you should make use of a medication-measuring device to measure the prescribed dose of this medication carefully.

Often, physicians prescribe rifampin together with supplementary antibiotic drugs with a view to put off or cure specific types of infections, such as latent or active tuberculosis (TB) and meningococcal disease. The dose, schedule or treatment with rifampin may differ subject to the condition for which this medication is being used. It has been found that all antibiotics work most excellently when the quantity of the medication in the patient's body is maintained at a steady level. Hence, it is advisable that you should take rifampin at regular intervals or precisely as instructed by your physician. Even if you find that the symptoms of your condition have disappeared following a few days treatment with rifampin, it is essential for you to continue taking this medicine for the total prescribed regimen.

Discontinuing rifampin before completing the prescribed course may enable the bacteria to keep growing and this may, in turn, cause the infection to recur. In case your condition remains the same or deteriorates even after treatment with rifampin, contact your physician right away.

How rifampin works

The antibiotic drug rifampin works by obstructing the actions of the enzymes that are necessary for reproducing the bacterial cells' RNA (ribonucleic acid) by stopping the bacteria from replicating.

Side effects


Possible interactions

Herbal medicines or minerals:
Specific herbal remedies and/ or minerals interact with rifampin and, hence, they should not be used in conjunction. For instance, a number of people use the herb Echinacea to try to perk up their immune system. However, people suffering from damaged immune systems should never use Echinacea. In effect, this herb has the aptitude to make the immune system further weak, in case it is used very frequently or for a prolonged period. In addition, people taking rifampin should also avoid herbs like marshmallow root, oak bark, licorice, woody nightshade stem, or mistletoe.
People undergoing treatment with rifampin should absolutely stay away from taking alcoholic beverages with a view to lessen the chances of liver toxicity.


Never break off taking rifampin or discontinue with it without seeking the advice of your physician. Sporadic use of this medication may possibly augment the chances of having allergies.

Storage instructions

Rifampin should always be kept in the container in which it came. Seal the container firmly and put it in a place that is beyond children's reach. Store this medication at room temperature and in a place free from too much heat and dampness. Never store rifampin in your bathroom, which is usually humid. When any medication becomes outdated or is needed no longer dispose it off safely and in a proper manner. Unless you have been told otherwise, never discard medications by flushing them down the toilet or pouring them into the drain. If necessary, talk to your physician regarding the safe and appropriate way to discard such medications.