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Rifampin

Generic Name: rifampin (oral/injection) (rif AM pin)
Brand Name: Rifadin, Rifadin IV, Rimactane
Physician reviewed rifampin patient information - includes rifampin description, dosage and directions.
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Drug Information:
Rifampin is an antibiotic that is used to treat or prevent tuberculosis (TB). Rifampin may also be used to reduce certain bacteria in your nose and throat that could cause meningitis or other infections. Rifampin prevents you from spreading these bacteria to other people, but rifampin will not treat an active meningitis infection. Rifampin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using. Many drugs can interact, and some drugs should not be used together. Learn more

Rifampin Side Effects

Rifampin Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to rifampin: oral capsule

Other dosage forms:

  • intravenous powder for solution

Along with its needed effects, rifampin may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking rifampin:

Rare

  • Agitation
  • bleeding gums
  • blood in the urine or stools
  • bruising
  • confusion
  • cough
  • coughing or vomiting blood
  • dark urine
  • darkening of the skin
  • decreased frequency or amount of urine
  • difficulty in breathing and swallowing
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • fast heartbeat
  • fever with or without chills
  • general feeling of tiredness or weakness
  • headache
  • hives
  • hoarseness
  • hostility
  • increased blood pressure
  • increased thirst
  • irritability
  • light-colored stools
  • loss of appetite
  • lower back or side pain
  • mental depression
  • nausea
  • painful or difficult urination
  • persistent bleeding or oozing from puncture sites, mouth, or nose
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • skin itching, rash, or redness
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • stomach pain
  • swelling of the face, ankles, fingers, hands, or lower legs
  • tightness in the chest
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual drowsiness, dullness, tiredness, weakness, or feeling of sluggishness
  • vomiting
  • weight gain
  • yellow eyes or skin

Incidence not known

  • Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • bloating
  • bloody, severe, or watery diarrhea
  • bone pain
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • cold, clammy skin
  • difficulty with speaking
  • double vision
  • fast, weak pulse
  • inability to move the arms, legs, or facial muscles
  • inability to speak
  • joint or muscle pain
  • lightheadedness
  • pale skin
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • red, irritated eyes
  • slow speech
  • sores, welts, blisters
  • sweating
  • swollen glands
  • unpleasant breath odor
  • unusual weight loss

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking rifampin:

Symptoms of overdose

  • Blurred vision
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • feeling of fullness in the upper abdomen or stomach
  • low blood pressure or slow pulse
  • pain in the upper abdomen or stomach
  • reddish-orange to reddish-brown color of the urine, stool, saliva, sputum, sweat, and tears
  • seizures
  • swelling around the eyes or face
  • unconsciousness
  • yellow eyes or skin

Some side effects of rifampin may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Rare

  • Feeling that others are watching you or controlling your behavior
  • feeling that others can hear your thoughts
  • feeling, seeing, or hearing things that are not there
  • muscle tenderness, wasting, or weakness
  • severe mood or mental changes
  • unusual behavior

Incidence not known

  • Belching
  • bloated or full feeling
  • drowsiness
  • excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
  • indigestion
  • not able to concentrate
  • pain or discomfort in the chest, upper stomach, or throat
  • tooth discoloration

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to rifampin: compounding powder, intravenous powder for injection, oral capsule

Dermatologic

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Serious cutaneous reactions

Frequency not reported: Drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) syndrome, erythema multiforme, face edema, itching with/without rash, mild cutaneous reactions, pemphigoid reaction, pruritus, rash, self-limiting cutaneous reactions, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, urticaria

Hypersensitivity

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hypersensitivity reactions

Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Anaphylaxis

Hypersensitivity reactions included acute renal failure, acute tubular necrosis, hematuria, hemoglobinuria, hemolysis, interstitial nephritis, renal insufficiency, and serious cutaneous reactions.

Renal

Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Acute renal failure, acute tubular necrosis, interstitial nephritis, renal insufficiency

Frequency not reported: Blood urea nitrogen elevations

Acute renal failure, acute tubular necrosis, interstitial necrosis, renal insufficiency were hypersensitivity reactions and usually occurred during intermittent therapy or during the resumption of intentional/accidental interruption of a daily dosage regimen. The effects were usually reversible when treatment was discontinued and appropriate therapy was instituted.

Hematologic

Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Disseminated intravascular coagulation, hemolysis, thrombocytopenia

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Agranulocytosis

Frequency not reported: Decreased hemoglobin, eosinophilia, hemolytic anemia, leukopenia

Thrombocytopenia usually occurred with high-dose intermittent therapy, but has occurred with well-supervised daily therapy and after resumption of interrupted treatment; the effect is reversible if treatment is discontinued as soon as purpura occurs.

Hemolysis was a hypersensitivity reaction and usually occurred during intermittent therapy or during the resumption of intentional/accidental interruption of a daily dosage regimen. This effect was usually reversible when treatment was discontinued and appropriate therapy was instituted.

Hepatic

Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Abnormal liver function tests, hepatitis, shock-like syndrome with hepatic involvement

Frequency not reported: Jaundice, transient liver function test abnormalities, serum bilirubin elevations, serum transaminase elevations

Genitourinary

Hematuria and hemoglobinuria were hypersensitivity reactions and usually occurred during intermittent therapy or during the resumption of intentional/accidental interruption of a daily dosage regimen. The effects were usually reversible when treatment was discontinued and appropriate therapy was instituted.

Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Hematuria, hemoglobinuria

Frequency not reported: Menstrual disturbances

Musculoskeletal

Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Myopathy

Frequency not reported: Bone pain, extremity pain, muscular weakness

Bone pain was included in flu syndrome, and occurred in patients receiving intermittent regimens; however, this event may occur in patients taking this drug irregularly or if daily administration is resumed after a drug-free interval.

Psychiatric

Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Psychoses

Frequency not reported: Behavioral changes, mental confusion

Endocrine

Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Adrenal insufficiency

Adrenal insufficiency occurred in patients with compromised adrenal function.

Gastrointestinal

Frequency not reported: Cramps, diarrhea, epigastric distress, flatulence, heartburn, nausea, pseudomembranous colitis, sore mouth, sore tongue, tooth discoloration/permanent tooth discoloration, vomiting

Nervous system

Cerebral hemorrhage occurred in patients who continued or resumed treatment after the appearance of purpura.

Dizziness and headache were included in flu syndrome, and occurred in patients receiving intermittent regimens; however, the events may occur in patients taking this drug irregularly or if daily administration is resumed after a drug-free interval.

Frequency not reported: Ataxia, cerebral hemorrhage, dizziness, drowsiness, generalized numbness, headache, inability to concentrate

Cardiovascular

Frequency not reported: Decreased blood pressure, extremity edema, flushing with/without rash, shock, vasculitis

Decreased blood pressure and shock were included in flu syndrome, and occurred in patients receiving intermittent regimens; however, the events may occur in patients taking this drug irregularly or if daily administration is resumed after a drug-free interval.

Other

Frequency not reported: Chills, fatalities, fatigue, fever

Chills and fever were included in flu syndrome, and occurred in patients receiving intermittent regimens; however, the events may occur in patients taking this drug irregularly or if daily administration is resumed after a drug-free interval.

Fatalities occurred in patients who continued or resumed treatment after the appearance of purpura.

Metabolic

Frequency not reported: Alkaline phosphatase elevations, anorexia, serum uric acid elevations

Ocular

Frequency not reported: Conjunctivitis, visual disturbances

Immunologic

Flu syndrome occurred in patients receiving intermittent regimens, but may occur in patients taking this drug irregularly or if daily administration is resumed after a drug-free interval.

Frequency not reported: Flu syndrome

Respiratory

Frequency not reported: Shortness of breath, wheezing

Shortness of breath and wheezing were included in flu syndrome, and occurred in patients receiving intermittent regimens; however, the events may occur in patients taking this drug irregularly or if daily administration is resumed after a drug-free interval.

Editorial References and Review

Medically reviewed by BestRx Medical Team Last updated on 1/1/2020.

Source: Drugs.com Rifampin