Rifampin is employed in conjunction with other medications to combat tuberculosis (TB), a severe infection that predominantly impacts the lungs but can also affect other body parts. This medication belongs to the antimycobacterial class and functions by eradicating the bacteria responsible for causing the infections.
Uses and Dosage
Rifampin is available in capsule form for oral administration. It should be ingested with a full glass of water, preferably on an empty stomach, either 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. When prescribed for the treatment of tuberculosis, it is typically taken once a day. In cases where the objective is to prevent the transmission of Neisseria meningitidis bacteria, it is taken either twice daily for 2 days or once daily for 4 days.
Take rifampin exactly as directed, neither more nor less than prescribed by your doctor.
If you encounter difficulty swallowing the capsules, notify your doctor or pharmacist. They can provide you with a liquid alternative.
For individuals taking rifampin to combat tuberculosis, the treatment duration may span several months or longer, as directed by your doctor. Complete the entire prescription, even if your symptoms improve. Consistency is vital, and missing doses could lead to incomplete treatment, potentially fostering antibiotic resistance in the bacteria. Should you skip doses of rifampin, reinitiating the medication might trigger uncomfortable or severe symptoms.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- lack of coordination
- difficulty concentrating
- changes in behavior
- muscle weakness
- pain in the arms, hands, feet, or legs
- stomach cramps
- loss of appetite
- painful or irregular menstrual periods
- vision changes
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- watery or bloody stools
- stomach cramps, or fever during treatment or for up to two or more months after stopping treatment
- swelling of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, or throat
- difficulty swallowing or breathing
- shortness of breath
- swollen lymph nodes
- loss of appetite
- dark urine or yellowing of the skin or eyes
Prior to initiating rifampin, inform your doctor or pharmacist about any allergies you may have, including allergies to rifampin or other rifamycins (such as rifabutin). This product could contain inactive ingredients capable of triggering allergic reactions or other complications.
Before starting this medication, discuss your medical history with your doctor or pharmacist, particularly if you have diabetes, liver issues (like hepatitis), HIV infection, or a history of alcohol use or abuse.
As alcohol can heighten the risk of liver disease, abstain from alcoholic beverages while using this medication.
Rifampin might diminish the efficacy of live bacterial vaccines (such as the typhoid vaccine). Inform your healthcare provider about your use of rifampin before undergoing any immunizations or vaccinations.
During pregnancy, consider using this medication only if it’s clearly necessary. When administered in the final weeks of pregnancy, this drug might elevate the risk of bleeding in both the mother and infant. If you observe any bleeding in your newborn, promptly inform your doctor. Assess the potential benefits and risks in consultation with your doctor.
While rifampin passes into breast milk, it’s unlikely to pose harm to a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Form and Strength
Rifadin is available in the following forms and strengths:
How long do I take Rifadin for latent TB?
If you have latent TB, which is when the TB in your body isn’t causing an infection, you can expect to take Rifadin for 3 or 4 months.
How long after taking Rifadin can I eat?
You’re recommended to take Rifadin 1 hour before meals or 2 hours after eating. Taking Rifadin with food can lower the amount of medication absorbed, which can lead to lower medication levels and resistant bacteria.