Rifampin is used for:

Treating all forms of tuberculosis (TB). Rifampin is also used to treat patients who do not have meningitis but carry the meningitis bacteria in their nose and throat and may spread the bacteria to others. Rifampin does not treat meningitis. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Rifampin is a rifamycin antibiotic. It works by killing or stopping the growth of sensitive bacteria.

Do NOT use rifampin if:

you are allergic to any ingredient in rifampin or to any rifamycin (eg, rifabutin)

you are taking atazanavir, cabazitaxel, darunavir, delavirdine, dronedarone, etravirine, fosamprenavir, lurasidone, nifedipine, praziquantel, ranolazine, saquinavir, tipranavir, tyrosine kinase receptor inhibitor (eg, lapatinib), or voriconazole

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using rifampin:

Some medical conditions may interact with rifampin. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have adrenal gland problems, the blood disease porphyria, diabetes, liver problems (eg, cirrhosis, jaundice), or inflammation or obstruction of the bile ducts

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with rifampin. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

Atazanavir, cabazitaxel, darunavir, delavirdine, dronedarone, etravirine, fosamprenavir, lurasidone, nifedipine, praziquantel, ranolazine, saquinavir, tipranavir, tyrosine kinase receptor inhibitors (eg, lapatinib), or voriconazole because their effectiveness may be decreased by rifampin

Many prescription medicines (eg, used for angina, anxiety, asthma, birth control, blood thinning, cancer, diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high iron levels, high uric acid levels, HIV, hormone replacement, immune system suppression, infections, inflammation, irregular heartbeat, low sodium levels, low vitamin D levels, mental or mood problems, nausea and vomiting, pain, seizures, sleep, thyroid) may interact with rifampin, increasing the risk of side effects or decreasing effectiveness.

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if rifampin may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use rifampin:

Use rifampin as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Rifampin is usually given as an injection at your doctor’s office, hospital, or clinic. If you will be using rifampin at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use rifampin. Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • Rifampin should be injected into a vein only, not into the muscle or under the skin.
  • Do not use rifampin if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • To clear up your infection completely, use rifampin for the full course of treatment. Keep using it even if you feel better in a few days.
  • Rifampin works best if it is taken at the same time each day.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
  • Do not stop using rifampin without checking with your doctor. Do not miss any doses. Rarely, kidney problems have occurred when patients started using rifampin again after therapy was interrupted.
  • If you miss a dose of rifampin, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once. If more than one dose is missed, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use rifampin.

Important safety information:

Rifampin may cause drowsiness or dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use rifampin with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.

Rifampin only works against bacteria; it does not treat viral infections (eg, the common cold).

Be sure to use rifampin for the full course of treatment. If you do not, the medicine may not clear up your infection completely. The bacteria could also become less sensitive to this or other medicines. This could make the infection harder to treat in the future.

Rifampin may produce a reddish coloration of your urine, sweat, saliva, and tears. Rifampin may also permanently stain soft contact lenses.

Mild diarrhea is common with antibiotic use. However, a more serious form of diarrhea (pseudomembranous colitis) may rarely occur. This may develop while you use the antibiotic or within several months after you stop using it. Contact your doctor right away if stomach pain or cramps, severe diarrhea, or bloody stools occur. Do not treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor.

Hormonal birth control (eg, birth control pills, implants, patches) may not work as well while you are using rifampin. To prevent pregnancy, use an extra form of birth control (eg, condoms).

Tell your doctor or dentist that you use rifampin before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.

Diabetes patients – Rifampin may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.

  • Rifampin may interfere with certain lab tests. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are using rifampin.
  • Lab tests, such as complete blood counts, platelet counts, and kidney and liver function tests, may be performed while you use rifampin. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.

PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using rifampin while you are pregnant. Rifampin is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while using rifampin.

Possible side effects of rifampin:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; gas; headache; heartburn; menstrual changes; mild upset stomach or cramps.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody or dark urine; change in the amount of urine produced; confusion; dark, tarry, or bloody stools; fever, chills, or sore throat; joint pain or swelling; muscle pain or weakness; nausea; pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; severe diarrhea, stomach pain, or cramps; shortness of breath; swelling of the arms, face, or legs; symptoms of liver problems (eg, dark urine, loss of appetite, pale stools, yellowing of the eyes or skin); unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness; vision changes; vomiting.

Major Side Effects

If any of the following side effects occur while taking rifampin, check with your doctor immediately:

  • Rare
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • agitation
  • back pain
  • bleeding gums
  • blood in the urine or stools
  • bruising
  • confusion
  • cough or hoarseness
  • coughing or vomiting blood
  • dark urine
  • darkening of the skin
  • decreased frequency or amount of urine
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • fast heartbeat
  • fever with or without chills
  • general feeling of tiredness or weakness
  • headache
  • hives
  • hostility
  • increased blood pressure
  • increased thirst
  • irritability
  • lethargy
  • light-colored stools
  • loss of appetite
  • lower back or side pain
  • mental depression
  • nausea and vomiting
  • painful or difficult urination
  • persistent bleeding or oozing from puncture sites, mouth, or nose
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • shortness of breath
  • skin itching, rash, or redness
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • swelling of the face, ankles, fingers, hands, or lower legs
  • tightness in the chest
  • tiredness
  • troubled breathing
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • weight gain
  • wheezing
  • yellow eyes or skin

Incidence not known:

  • Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • bloating
  • bone pain
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • cold, clammy skin
  • diarrhea, watery and severe, which may also be bloody
  • difficulty with speaking
  • double vision
  • fast heartbeat
  • fast, weak pulse
  • inability to move the arms, legs, or facial muscles
  • inability to speak
  • joint or muscle pain
  • lightheadedness
  • pale skin
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • red, irritated eyes
  • redness, soreness, or itching skin
  • slow speech
  • sores, welting, or blisters
  • sweating
  • swollen glands
  • unpleasant breath odor
  • unusual weight loss

If any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking rifampin, get emergency help immediately:

Symptoms of overdose:

  • Blurred vision
  • convulsions (seizures)
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • full feeling in the upper abdomen or stomach
  • itching
  • low blood pressure or slow pulse
  • nausea or vomiting
  • pain in the upper abdomen or stomach
  • reddish-orange to reddish-brown color of the urine, stool, saliva, sputum, sweat, and tears
  • swelling around the eyes or face
  • unconsciousness
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • yellow eyes or skin

Minor Side Effects

Some rifampin side effects may not need any medical attention. As your body gets used to the medicine these side effects may disappear. Your health care professional may be able to help you prevent or reduce these side effects, but do check with them if any of the following side effects continue, or if you are concerned about them:


  • Feeling that others are watching you or controlling your behavior
  • feeling that others can hear your thoughts
  • feeling, seeing, or hearing things that are not there
  • muscular pain, tenderness, wasting, or weakness
  • severe mood or mental changes
  • unusual behavior

Incidence not known:

  • Belching
  • bloated or full feeling
  • drowsiness
  • excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
  • indigestion
  • not able to concentrate
  • pain or discomfort in the chest, upper stomach, or throat
  • weight loss

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