Rifampin (By mouth)


Rifampin (rif-AM-pin)

Treats tuberculosis (TB) and other types of infections.

Brand Name(s)

Rifadin, Rimactane

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine

Capsule, Liquid, Tablet

  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • Rifampin should be taken on an empty stomach, 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal 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.

If a dose is missed:

  • 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.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • 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.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

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

  • Rifampin interacts with many other medicines. Make sure your doctor knows all of the medicines that you are taking before you take rifampin. The doses of the other medicines may have to be changed while you are taking rifampin.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin®, Chloroptic®), ciprofloxacin (Cipro®), clarithromycin (Biaxin®), cotrimoxazole (Bactrim®, Septra®), digitoxin, digoxin (Lanoxin®), phenobarbital, phenytoin (Dilantin®), sulfapyridine, sulfasalazine (Azulfidine®), medicines for heart rhythm problems (such as disopyramide, mexiletine, quinidine, tocainide, Mexitil®, Norpace®, Quinora®, or Tonocard®), medicine for blood pressure (such as atenolol, diltiazem, enalapril, metoprolol, nifedipine, propranolol, verapamil, Adalat®, Calan®, Cardizem®, Isoptin®, Procardia®, Toprol®, Vasotec®, or Verelan®), medicine for fungal infection (such as fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, Diflucan®, Nizoral®, or Sporanox®), or a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®).
  • Tell your doctor if you are using atovaquone (Mepron®), clofibrate (Atromid®-S), cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®), dapsone (Aczone®), diazepam (Valium), doxycycline (Vibramycin®), haloperidol (Haldol®), halothane (Fluothane®), isoniazid (Nydrazid®), levothyroxine (Levoxyl®, Synthroid®), methadone (Dolophine®), probenecid (Benemid®), quinine, tacrolimus, theophylline (Theo-Dur®), zidovudine (Retrovir®), diabetes medicine that you take by mouth (such as glipizide, glimepiride, tolbutamide, Amaryl®, Glucotrol®, or Orinase®), medicine for depression (such as amitriptyline, nortriptyline, Elavil®, or Pamelor®), narcotic pain relievers, or a steroid medicine (such as dexamethasone, prednisolone, prednisone, or Medrol®).
  • If you are taking antacids, do not take them at the same time while you are using this medicine. Take the antacid at least 1 hour after taking this medicine.
  • Birth control pills may not work while you are using this medicine. To keep from getting pregnant, use another form of birth control along with your birth control pills. Other forms include condoms, diaphragms, or contraceptive foams or jellies.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or an enzyme problem called porphyria. Tell your doctor if you have a history of diabetes.
  • Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach; pale stools; dark urine; loss of appetite; nausea; unusual tiredness or weakness; or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.
  • Soft contact lenses may be permanently stained by rifampin. You may not want to wear them while taking this medicine.
  • Your urine, stool, saliva (spit), sweat, and tears may turn a red-orange color. This is normal when you take this medicine.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

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, or red skin rash.
  • Bloody or very dark urine.
  • Blurred vision or eye pain.
  • Decrease in how much or how often you urinate.
  • Diarrhea that may contain blood.
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or pain in your upper stomach.
  • Numbness, pain, or tingling in your arms or legs.
  • Shortness of breath or troubled breathing.
  • Unsteadiness or weakness.
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

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

  • Diarrhea, heartburn, gas, or stomach upset or cramps.
  • Dizziness or drowsiness.
  • Headache.
  • Mild skin rash.
  • Muscle or joint 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 8/4/2014

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