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Molecule Description

Rifampicin is an antibiotic used to treat and prevent tuberculosis and other infections. This medicine can treat only bacterial infections.

Uses of Rifampicin

  • Tuberculosis
  • Leprosy
  • A severe form of lung inflammation (Legionnaires disease)
  • Other bacterial serious infections like Brucellosis, Staphylococcal infections, etc.

Contraindications of Rifampicin

When should one not use Rifampicin

  • If you have any allergic reaction to Rifampicin
  • Liver problem
  • Have a rare blood problem called porphyria

Side effects of Rifampicin

Common side effects of this drug are:

  • Heartburn
  • Stomach upset
  • Cramps
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Confusion
  • Change in behaviour
  • Muscular weakness
  • Vision changes
  • Painful or irregular menstruation
  • Flushing and itchiness
  • Lack of coordination

Precautions and Warnings of Rifampicin


Can I take Rifampicin during pregnancy?
This medicine should not be taken during pregnancy as it can affect the growth of your unborn baby and may cause complications to the mother and the baby after birth.

Breast Feeding

Can I take Rifampicin while breastfeeding?
Do not breastfeed your baby as small amounts of Rifampicin can pass into breast milk.


Can I drive if I have consumed Rifampicin?
You may feel dizzy or faint, have problems with vision or have other side effects that could affect your ability to drive while taking this medicine. If this happens, do not drive.


Can I consume alcohol with Rifampicin?
No relevant information found yet.

Other General Warnings

Talk to your doctor if
  • May cause yellowing of the skin, whitening of the eye and urine
  • You are taking other antiviral medicines like Saquinavir or Ritonavir (as you may develop liver problems if you are also taking Rifampicin)
  • If you have kidney disease, talk to your doctor before taking this medicine

Mode of Action of Rifampicin

How Does It Work?

It works by interfering with bacterial covering; thus, bacterial growth is hindered and the existing ones are killed by immunity or their lifecycle ends.

Interactions of Rifampicin

Interactions with other medicines

  • Heart ailment medicine like Digoxin
  • Anti-infectives like Chloramphenicol, Clarithromycin, Quinolones such as Ciprofloxacin
  • Antimalarial medicines like Atovaquone, Quinine
  • Anti-seizure medicines like Phenytoin, Phenobarbital, Lamotrigine
  • Antifungals like Itraconazole, Ketoconazole
  • Benzodiazepines like Midazolam
  • Blood thinners like Warfarin
  • Calcium channel blockers like Diltiazem, Nimodipine, Verapamil
  • Anti-cancer medicines like Imatinib, Irinotecan
  • Certain oral medicines for diabetes like Repaglinide

Interactions with food items

It has known interactions with alcohol. Do not drink alcohol while taking this medicine. Also, Increase fluid intake.

Dosage of Rifampicin


Overdose symptoms of Rifampicin may include nausea, vomiting, itching, headache, weakness, fast or uneven heart rate, or feeling like you might pass out. Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have had an overdose of this medicine.
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Missed a Dose

It is ideal not to miss even a single medicine. Take medicine as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to the regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose.
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Content Details


Dr. Ritu Budania

MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Q: What should I discuss with my healthcare expert before taking this medicine?

A: You should not take this medicine if you are allergic to it. Before taking this medicine, tell your doctor if you have liver disease or porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system). Give a detailed account of your medical and surgical history. Also, mention to your doctor all the prescription and non-prescription medicines, herbal preparations and nutritional supplements that you may be taking before starting this medication.

Q: When and how to consume the medicine?

A: Take this medicine with a full glass of water on an empty stomach one hour before or two hours after a meal or with small portions of food.
Last Updated on: 05 Oct 2020 | 10:47 PM (IST)

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The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts. Please click here for detailed T&C.
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