Penn State Hershey Medical Center home Penn State Hershey Medical Center home Penn State Hershey: Patient Care home Penn State Hershey: Education home Penn State Hershey: Research home Penn State Hershey: Community home
Penn State Hershey Health Information Library
  Library Home
  Find A Physician
  Find A Practice
  Request An Appointment
  Search Clinical Studies
  Classes and Support Groups
  Ask A Health Librarian
  Subscribe to eNewsletters


Penn State Hershey Health Information Centers
  Bone and Joint
  Cancer
  Children
  Heart
  Men
  Neurology
  Pregnancy
  Seniors
  Women

        Follow Us

Rifampin (By injection)

Rifampin (rif-AM-pin)

Treats tuberculosis (TB). It is also used by patients who have a meningitis bacteria in their nose or throat who do not show symptoms of the infection. This medicine is an antibiotic.

Brand Name(s):

Rifadin IV, Rifadin IV Novaplus

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. You should not receive it if you had an allergic reaction to rifampin, or if you have meningococcal disease (including infections of the lining of the brain and spinal cord and bloodstream).

How to Use This Medicine:

Injectable

  • Your doctor will prescribe your dose and schedule. This medicine is given through a needle placed in a vein.
  • A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.
  • Your doctor will only give you a few doses of this medicine until your condition improves, and then you will be switched to an oral medicine that works the same way. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not receive this medicine if you also take medicine to treat HIV/AIDS, including atazanavir, darunavir, fosamprenavir, ritonavir, ritonavir-boosted saquinavir, saquinavir, and tipranavir.
  • You should not receive this medicine together with praziquantel. If you need to take praziquantel, you should stop receiving rifampin 4 weeks before starting praziquantel. You may restart rifampin one day after the last dose of praziquantel.
  • Some medicines can affect how rifampin works. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:
    • Atovaquone, clofibrate, cyclosporine, diazepam, digitoxin, digoxin, enalapril, haloperidol, halothane, irinotecan, levothyroxine, methadone, probenecid, quinine, simvastatin, sulfapyridine, sulfasalazine, tacrolimus, tamoxifen, theophylline, toremifene, zidovudine, zolpidem, zopiclone
    • Birth control pills
    • Blood pressure medicine (including beta blockers, calcium channel blockers)
    • Blood thinner (including warfarin)
    • Medicine for heart rhythm problems (including disopyramide, mexiletine, propafenone, quinidine, tocainide)
    • Medicine for seizures (including phenytoin)
    • Medicine to treat depression (including SSRI, TCA)
    • Medicine to treat infections (including cefazolin, chloramphenicol, ciprofloxacin, clarithromycin, cotrimoxazole, dapsone, doxycycline, fluconazole, isoniazid, itraconazole, ketoconazole, moxifloxacin, pefloxacin, telithromycin)
    • Narcotic pain reliever
    • Oral diabetes medicine (including glipizide, glyburide, rosiglitazone)
    • Steroid medicine
  • If you use an antacid, take it at least 1 hour after you receive rifampin.
  • If you are taking itraconazole, do not take rifampin 2 weeks before and during itraconazole treatment.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, adrenal gland problems, blood clotting problems, vitamin K deficiency, or porphyria (an enzyme problem). Tell your doctor if you drink alcohol.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Liver problems
    • Serious skin reactions
    • Drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), which can damage organs, including the liver, kidney, or heart
    • Bleeding problems
  • This medicine may turn your urine, saliva, sweat, teeth, and tears yellow, orange, red, or brown. This is normal. This side effect could stain contact lenses.
  • This medicine may make you bleed, bruise, or get infections more easily. Take precautions to prevent illness and injury. Wash your hands often.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
  • Blurred vision
  • Dark urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, yellow skin or eyes
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, body aches
  • Joint pain or swelling
  • Numbness, pain, or tingling in your arms or legs
  • Trouble breathing, coughing up blood, nosebleed
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Headache, dizziness
  • Mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain
  • Pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the needle is placed

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 10/10/2019

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.

All rights reserved

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and chrome browser.