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Rifampin (By mouth)

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):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to rifampin, or if you have meningococcal disease (including infections of the lining of the brain and spinal cord and bloodstream).

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 the 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, ritonavir-boosted saquinavir, saquinavir, and tipranavir.
  • Do not use this medicine together with praziquantel. If you need to take praziquantel, you should stop using rifampin 4 weeks before starting praziquantel. You may restart rifampin one day after the last dose of praziquantel.
  • Some medicines can affect how rifampin works. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:
    • Atovaquone, clofibrate, cyclosporine, diazepam, digitoxin, digoxin, efavirenz, enalapril, haloperidol, halothane, irinotecan, levothyroxine, methadone, ondansetron, probenecid, quinine, simvastatin, sulfapyridine, sulfasalazine, tacrolimus, tamoxifen, theophylline, toremifene, zidovudine, zolpidem, zopiclone
    • Birth control pills
    • Blood pressure medicine (including beta blockers, calcium channel blockers)
    • Blood thinner (including warfarin)
    • Medicine for heart rhythm problems (including disopyramide, mexiletine, propafenone, quinidine, tocainide)
    • Medicine for hepatitis C (including daclatasvir, simeprevir, sofosbuvir, telaprevir)
    • Medicine for seizures (including phenytoin)
    • Medicine to treat depression (including SSRI, TCA)
    • Medicine to treat infections (including cefazolin, chloramphenicol, ciprofloxacin, clarithromycin, cotrimoxazole, dapsone, doxycycline, fluconazole, isoniazid, ketoconazole, moxifloxacin, pefloxacin, telithromycin)
    • Narcotic pain reliever (including morphine, oxycodone)
    • Oral diabetes medicine (including glipizide, glyburide, rosiglitazone)
    • Steroid medicine (including prednisolone)
  • If you use an antacid, take it at least 1 hour after you use rifampin.
  • If you are taking itraconazole, do not use rifampin 2 weeks before and during itraconazole treatment.
  • 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, adrenal gland problems, blood clotting problems, vitamin K deficiency, or porphyria (an enzyme problem). Tell your doctor if you drink alcohol.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Liver problems
    • Serious skin reactions
    • Drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), which can damage organs, including the liver, kidney, or heart
    • Bleeding problems
  • This medicine may turn your urine, saliva, sweat, teeth, and tears yellow, orange, red, or brown. 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
  • Joint pain or swelling
  • Numbness, pain, or tingling in your arms or legs
  • Trouble breathing, coughing up blood, nosebleed
  • 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

Last Updated: 5/1/2020

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