rifampin (generic name)

It is used to treat or prevent certain kinds of bacterial infections
(RIF am pin)
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What is this medicine?

RIFAMPIN (RIF am pin) is an antibiotic. It is used to treat or prevent certain kinds of bacterial infections. It is used to treat or prevent tuberculosis (TB). It will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • liver disease, including hepatitis
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to rifampin, rifabutin, other medicines, foods, dyes or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for infusion into a vein. It is usually given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.

If you get this medicine at home, you will be taught how to prepare and give this medicine. Use exactly as directed. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

It is important that you put your used needles and syringes in a special sharps container. Do not put them in a trash can. If you do not have a sharps container, call your pharmacist or healthcare provider to get one.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses. Tell your health care professional about all missed doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • delavirdine
  • nevirapine
  • sirolimus
  • voriconazole

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • antibiotics like ciprofloxacin, clarithromycin, isoniazid
  • antifungal medicines like fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole
  • atovaquone
  • chloramphenicol
  • cyclosporine
  • dapsone
  • female hormones, including contraceptive or birth control pills
  • halothane
  • medicines for blood pressure, other heart problems
  • medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
  • medicines for diabetes
  • medicines for pain
  • medicnes for seizures
  • medicines for sleep
  • medicines for the thyroid
  • medicines that treat or prevent blood clots like warfarin
  • probenecid
  • steroid medicines like prednisone or cortisone
  • vitamin D

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular check ups. You may need blood work done while you are taking this medicine. This medicine can cause serious liver problems. Make sure you understand the risks for liver problems and how to identify the symptoms. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or other health care provider.

Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

Birth control pills may not work properly while you are taking this medicine. Talk to your doctor about using an extra method of birth control.

This medicine can color your urine, stool, sweat, tears, sputum, skin or saliva red, orange or brown. This is not a cause for alarm. However, soft contact lenses may be permanently stained.

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Last Updated: July 28, 2009
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