This medication is a rifamycin antibiotic used to prevent and treat tuberculosis and other infections.
This antibiotic treats only bacterial infections. It will not work for viral infections (e.g., common cold, flu). Unnecessary use or overuse of any antibiotic can lead to its decreased effectiveness.
This medication is best taken on an empty stomach with a full glass of water (8 ounces or 240 milliliters) 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals; or take as directed by your doctor. If you have nausea, do not take antacids with rifampin since it will lessen the effectiveness of this drug. However, if you need to take antacids, wait at least 1 hour after taking this drug.
If you are unable to swallow the capsules, you may open the capsule and sprinkle the contents onto a spoonful of cool, soft applesauce or jelly. Eat the entire mixture immediately. Do not prepare a supply for future use.
If you have a liquid form, shake the bottle well before each dose. Use a medication-measuring device to carefully measure the prescribed dose.
Rifampin is frequently used in combination with other antibiotics to prevent or treat certain kinds of infections (e.g., latent/active tuberculosis, meningococcal disease). Your dose/schedule/treatment length will vary, depending on what you are treated for. Antibiotics work best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals, or exactly as directed. Continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too early may allow bacteria to continue to grow, which may result in a return of the infection.
Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
This drug may cause upset stomach, heartburn, nausea, menstrual changes, headache, drowsiness, or dizziness. If any of these effects persist or worsen, inform your doctor promptly.
This medication may produce a harmless, reddish coloration of urine, sweat, saliva, or tears. Soft contact lenses may be permanently stained.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Rifampin may infrequently cause serious liver disease. Though sometimes necessary to completely treat certain infections, combination treatment with other drugs (e.g., isoniazid, pyrazinamide) may increase this risk. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, headache, muscle aches), change in amount of urine, persistent nausea/vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin, mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion, unusual behavior), unusual tiredness, easy bruising/bleeding, small red spots on the skin, joint pain/swelling.
This medication may rarely cause a severe intestinal condition (Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea) due to a type of resistant bacteria. This condition may occur during treatment or weeks to months after treatment has stopped. Do not use anti-diarrhea products or narcotic pain medications if you have any of the following symptoms because these products may make them worse. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop: persistent diarrhea, abdominal or stomach pain/cramping, blood/mucus in your stool.
Use of this medication for prolonged or repeated periods may result in oral thrush or a new yeast infection (oral/vaginal fungal infection). Contact your doctor if you notice white patches in your mouth, a change in vaginal discharge, or other new symptoms.
In the unlikely event you have an allergic reaction to this drug, seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Before taking rifampin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: diabetes, liver problems (e.g., hepatitis), HIV infection, history of alcohol use/abuse.
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this drug.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. When this drug is taken during the last few weeks of pregnancy, the risk of bleeding in both mother and infant may be increased. Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any bleeding in your newborn. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Rifampin passes into breast milk but is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Your healthcare professionals (e.g., doctor or pharmacist) may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.
This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious interactions may occur: live bacterial vaccines (e.g., oral typhoid), certain non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (nevirapine, delavirdine, etravirine), voriconazole, HIV protease inhibitors (e.g., saquinavir, ritonavir, indinavir).
If you are currently using any of these medications listed above, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting rifampin.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use.
This drug can speed up the removal of other drugs from your body by affecting certain liver enzymes. These affected drugs include (not a complete list): antiarrhythmics (e.g., disopyramide, mexiletine, quinidine), certain anti-cancer drugs (e.g., erlotinib, imatinib, irinotecan), anticoagulants (e.g., warfarin, dicumarol), certain anti-infectives (e.g., chloramphenicol, clarithromycin, dapsone, doxycycline, linezolid, telithromycin, zidovudine, quinolones such as ciprofloxacin), certain antimalarial drugs (e.g., atovaquone, quinine), anti-seizure drugs (e.g., phenytoin, phenobarbital, lamotrigine), aprepitant, azole antifungals (e.g., itraconazole, ketoconazole), benzodiazepines (e.g., diazepam, midazolam), certain drugs to lower blood pressure (e.g., enalapril, certain beta blockers such as metoprolol, calcium channel blockers such as verapamil), caspofungin, corticosteroids (e.g., prednisone), certain oral drugs for diabetes (e.g., repaglinide), digitoxin, certain hormone replacement drugs (e.g., estrogens such as conjugated estrogen, progestins such as medroxyprogesterone), certain drugs to suppress the immune system (e.g., cyclosporine, tacrolimus), certain drugs for mental/mood disorders (e.g., clozapine, haloperidol, tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline), narcotic pain relievers (e.g., morphine, methadone), certain drugs for sleep (e.g., ramelteon, eszopiclone, zopiclone), certain statin drugs to lower cholesterol (e.g., atorvastatin, simvastatin), sulfasalazine, theophylline, thyroid medications (e.g., levothyroxine).
This medication may decrease the effectiveness of hormonal birth control such as pills, patch, or ring. This could cause pregnancy. Discuss with your doctor or pharmacist if you should use additional reliable birth control methods while using this medication. Also tell your doctor if you have any new spotting or breakthrough bleeding, because these may be signs that your birth control is not working well.
This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (urine screening for opiates, blood serum folate/vitamin B12), possibly causing false test results. Rifampin may also make it harder for your body to get rid of certain chemicals used in gallbladder tests. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include swelling face/eyes, whole-body itching, orange/red discoloration of skin/eyes, nausea/vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain, increasing tiredness, fainting.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., LFTs, bilirubin, serum creatinine, complete blood count) may be done before starting this medication and during treatment to monitor your progress or check for side effects.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
If you are taking this drug on a longer schedule (e.g., twice weekly) and miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately to establish a new dosing schedule.
Store the capsules at room temperature at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Avoid high heat (above 104 degrees F or 40 degrees C). Do not store in the bathroom. The liquid form may be stored at room temperature or refrigerated at 36-46 degrees F (2-8 degrees C) for up to 4 weeks. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Information last revised July 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.
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