Generic Name: Rifampin
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Rifampicin is an antibiotic which is most frequently indicated to treat tuberculosis (TB). Rifampicin targets and
inactivates a bacterial chemical called RNA-polymerase. The tuberculosis bacteria use RNA-polymerase to make essential
proteins and to copy their own genetic information (DNA). Without this chemical the bacteria cannot reproduce and they die.
There are two stages in the treatment for tuberculosis. In the first two months after infection (the initial phase),
treatment is aimed at killing as many bacteria as possible. Therefore several anti-TB drugs with different mechanisms of
action are indicated in combination. After this time some of the mediciations are stopped and the others are continued for a
further four months (continuation phase) to kill any remaining bacteria. Rifampicin is indicated in both stages of treatment.
The bacteria that cause TB are difficult to treat. By using medications in combination, the bacteria can be targeted in
different ways and hence treatment is more likely to be effective than a single drug alone. In addition, using different
medications make it less likely that bacteria will develop resistance to treatment.
Rifampicin can also be indicated to treat infections such as:
- Serious staphylococcal infections;
- Legionnaire's disease;
As for TB, rifampicin should be indicated in combination with another antibiotic to prevent resistance occuring.
Rifampicin is also indicated to prevent certain types of meningitis.
This belongs to the group of drugs known as antituberculosis drugs.
Rifampicin is indicated to treat infections, including tuberculosis. Rifampin can also be indicated to
prevent infections in those who have been in contact with serious infections.
Rifampicin is available in capsule, oral liquid and injection form.
Rifampin is a combination antibiotic indicated to treat the initial phase of tuberculosis. After a 2-month period, your
doctor may prescribe another combination of antituberculosis drugs (Rifamate), which can be continued for longer periods.
Isoniazid, one of the components of Rifampin, sometimes causes liver damage. Contact your doctor immediately if you
- Fatigue weakness;
- Loss of appetite;
- Yellowing of the eyes or skin;
Rifampin is indicated to prevent and treat tuberculosis or other infections. Use of only rifampin and pyrazinamide as a
two-drug, two-month therapy to treat tuberculosis (specifically "latent" TB infection) is no longer recommended. Infrequently,
serious (sometimes fatal) liver disease has occurred with the use of these two drugs alone. Several other effective
alternative treatments can be indicated to treat latent tuberculosis (e.g., isoniazid for 9 months). Use of rifampin and
pyrazinamide as part of a multi-drug (3 or more drugs) treatment plan for tuberculosis is still acceptable. Consult your
doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Infection caindicated by Brucella bacteria (brucellosis)
Prevention of infection from the bacterium H. influenzae in those who may have been exposed to it
Prevention of meningococcal meningitis
Treatment of serious staphylococcal bacterial infections
Treatment of tuberculosis in combination with other drugs
Rifampin is best taken on an empty stomach 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals with a full glass of water. Take as
directed. Do not stop taking Rifampin without your doctor's approval. Stopping therapy early may result in ineffective
treatment and the infection could recur.
Laboratory tests will be done periodically while taking Rifampin to monitor its effects. Do not share Rifampin with
Alteration in results of liver function tests;
Angina (crushing chest pain);
Cold or flu-like symptoms;
Coughing up blood;
Decrease in the number of platelets in the blood (thrombocytopenia);
Excessive breakdown of red blood cells that reduces red blood cell count (haemolytic anaemia);
Feeling or being sick;
Inflammation of the large intestine (colitis);
Itching or irregular menstrual cycle (periods);
Loss of appetite;
Nausea and vomiting;
Numbness or tingling of the legs;
Oedema (swollen ankles);
Red colouration of urine;
Shortness of breath;
Shortness of breath;
Skin peeling or flaking;
Swelling of the legs;
Yellowing eyes or skin;
Yellowing of skin and eyes;
Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice);
Take once a day, as follows:
If you weigh 97 pounds or less: 4 tablets
If you weigh 98 to 120 pounds: 5 tablets
If you weigh 121 pounds or more: 6 tablets
Safety and effectiveness in children under the age of 15 have not been established.