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Rifadin

Generic name: rifampin

What is Rifadin used for?

  • Rifadin is used to treat TB (tuberculosis).
  • It is used to stop the spread of meningitis in people who carry the bacteria but are not sick with the disease.
  • Rifadin may be given to you for other reasons. Talk to your doctor.

Before taking Rifadin, tell your doctor:

  • If you are allergic to Rifadin; any part of this medicine; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
  • If you take any drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) that must not be taken with Rifadin, like certain drugs that are used for HIV, infections, or depression. There are many drugs that must not be taken with Rifadin. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you if you are taking a drug that must not be taken with Rifadin.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this medicine.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Rifadin with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Rifadin?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take Rifadin. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • This medicine may affect certain lab tests. Tell all of your health care providers and lab workers that you take Rifadin.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Rifadin.
  • If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to watch your blood sugar closely. Tell your doctor if you get signs of high blood sugar like confusion, feeling sleepy, more thirst, more hungry, passing urine more often, flushing, fast breathing, or breath that smells like fruit.
  • This medicine may stain contact lenses.
  • A severe and sometimes deadly reaction has happened. Most of the time, this reaction has signs like fever, rash, or swollen glands with problems in body organs like the liver, kidney, blood, heart, muscles and joints, or lungs. If you have questions, talk with the doctor.
  • Liver problems have happened with Rifadin. Sometimes these problems have been deadly in people who had liver disease and in people who took Rifadin with other drugs that may raise the chance of liver problems. If you have questions, talk with the doctor.
  • Call your doctor right away if you have signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
  • If you are 65 or older, use Rifadin with care. You could have more side effects.
  • Birth control pills and other hormone-based birth control may not work as well to prevent pregnancy. Use some other kind of birth control also like a condom when taking Rifadin.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the baby.

How is Rifadin best taken?

Use Rifadin as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Take on an empty stomach. Take 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals.
  • Do not take antacids within 1 hour before or 1 hour after taking Rifadin.
  • Keep taking Rifadin as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
  • Take with a full glass of water.
  • A liquid (suspension) can be made if you cannot swallow pills. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • If a liquid (suspension) is made, shake well before use.
  • Measure liquid doses carefully. Use the measuring device that comes with Rifadin. If there is none, ask the pharmacist for a device to measure Rifadin.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

What are the side effects of Rifadin that I need to call my doctor about immediately?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain.
  • Dizziness or passing out.
  • Flu-like signs.
  • Fever, chills, or sore throat; any unexplained bruising or bleeding; or feeling very tired or weak.
  • Swollen gland.
  • Joint pain or swelling.
  • Muscle pain or weakness.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Chest pain.
  • Cough.
  • Sweating a lot.
  • A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Swelling in the arms or legs.
  • Purple spots or redness of the skin.
  • Change in balance.
  • Feeling confused, not able to focus, or change in behavior.
  • Period (menstrual) changes.
  • Change in eyesight, eye pain, or very bad eye irritation.
  • Change in tooth color. These changes may be long-lasting.
  • Diarrhea is common with antibiotics. Rarely, a severe form called C diff–associated diarrhea (CDAD) may happen. Sometimes, this has led to a deadly bowel problem (colitis). CDAD may happen during or a few months after taking antibiotics. Call your doctor right away if you have stomach pain, cramps, or very loose, watery, or bloody stools. Check with your doctor before treating diarrhea.

What are some other side effects of Rifadin?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Diarrhea.
  • Feeling sleepy.
  • Gas.
  • Headache.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Not hungry.
  • Heartburn.
  • Stomach cramps.
  • Feeling tired or weak.
  • Change in color of body fluids to orange or red.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If overdose is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Rifadin Images

How do I store and/or throw out Rifadin?

  • Store at room temperature in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Protect from heat and light.
  • If a liquid (suspension) is made, store at room temperature or in a refrigerator. Throw away any part not used after 4 weeks.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

Consumer information use and disclaimer

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about Rifadin, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Rifadin or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Rifadin. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Source: Wolters Kluwer Health. Last updated June 19, 2020.