This medication is used alone or with another medication to help prevent a certain serious infection (Mycobacterium avium complex-MAC). Rifabutin is known as a rifamycin antibiotic. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.
This antibiotic treats and prevents only bacterial infections. It will not work for viral infections (such as common cold, flu). Unnecessary use or misuse of any antibiotic can lead to its decreased effectiveness.
OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This drug may also be used with other medications to treat active MAC infection and to treat active tuberculosis (TB) infection. It may also be used alone or with another medication to prevent active TB infections in people who may be infected with the bacteria (people with positive TB skin test).
Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually once or twice daily or as directed by your doctor. Take this medication with food if stomach upset occurs. For the treatment of tuberculosis, this drug is sometimes taken twice weekly.
Dosage is based on your medical condition, weight, interacting drugs, and response to treatment.
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. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day.
Continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms disappear. Stopping the medication too early or skipping doses may allow the bacteria to continue to grow, which may result in a return of the infection and cause the infection to be more difficult to treat (resistant).
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
This medication may cause urine, sweat, saliva, or tears to turn brown-orange. This effect is harmless and will disappear when the medication is stopped. However, dentures and 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.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but serious side effects occur: easy bleeding/bruising, signs of a new infection (such as fever, persistent sore throat/cough), muscle weakness/pain, joint pain/swelling, eye pain/redness, vision problems, chest pain/pressure, persistent nausea/vomiting, unusual weakness/tiredness, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin.
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 right away if you develop: persistent diarrhea, abdominal or stomach pain/cramping, blood/mucus in your stool.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: 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 rifabutin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other rifamycins (such as rifampin); 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: kidney disease, liver disease, a certain blood disorder (porphyria).
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Rifabutin may cause live bacterial vaccines (such as typhoid vaccine) not to work as well. Therefore, do not have any immunizations/vaccinations while using this medication without the consent of your doctor.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor before breast-feeding. If you have HIV disease, do not breast-feed because breast milk can transmit HIV.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: azole antifungals (such as fluconazole, itraconazole, voriconazole), ciprofloxacin, delavirdine, macrolide antibiotics (such as clarithromycin).
Rifabutin can speed up the removal of other medications from your body, which may affect how they work. Examples of affected drugs include aprepitant/fosaprepitant, cyclosporine, lurasidone, phenytoin, ranolazine, suvorexant, tacrolimus, tasimelteon, "blood thinners" (such as warfarin), calcium channel blockers (such as diltiazem, verapamil), certain combination products used to treat chronic hepatitis C (ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir), among others.
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.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as liver function, complete blood count) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
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.
Store at room temperature at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Brief storage between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) is permitted. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Information last revised December 2015. Copyright(c) 2015 First Databank, Inc.
With WebMD's Medicine Cabinet, you can check interactions with drugs.Go to medicine cabinet