Rifampicin (Rifampicin 150mg capsules)



Information specific to: Rifampicin 150mg capsules when used in Tuberculosis.

Rifampicin (Rif-am-pee-sin) is a medicine which is used in certain types of bacterial infections and tuberculosis.

The information in this Medicine Guide for rifampicin varies according to the condition being treated and the particular preparation used.

Your medicine

Rifampicin is used to treat certain types of bacterial infections including tuberculosis. It works by killing certain types of bacteria.

Other information about Rifampicin:

  • this medicine may lead to red colouration of the urine, sweat, sputum or tears
  • this medicine may lead to red staining of soft contact lenses. This staining may be permanent

Do not share your medicine with other people. It may not be suitable for them and may harm them.

The pharmacy label on your medicine tells you how much medicine you should take. It also tells you how often you should take your medicine. This is the dose that you and your prescriber have agreed you should take. You should not change the dose of your medicine unless you are told to do so by your prescriber.

If you feel that the medicine is making you unwell or you do not think it is working, then talk to your prescriber.

Whether this medicine is suitable for you

Rifampicin is not suitable for everyone and some people should never use it. Other people should only use it with special care. It is important that the person prescribing this medicine knows your full medical history.

Your prescriber may only prescribe this medicine with special care or may not prescribe it at all if you:

  • are allergic or sensitive to or have had a bad reaction to rifamycins in the past
  • are allergic or sensitive to or have had a reaction to any of the ingredients in the medicine
  • are elderly
  • are malnourished
  • have jaundice
  • have kidney problems
  • have liver problems
  • have porphyria

Furthermore the prescriber may only prescribe this medicine with special care or may not prescribe it at all for a child who is under the age of two years.

As part of the process of assessing suitability to take this medicine a prescriber may also arrange tests:

  • to determine whether or not the medicine is suitable and whether it must be prescribed with extra care
  • to check that this medicine is not having any undesired effects

Over time it is possible that Rifampicin can become unsuitable for some people, or they may become unsuitable for it. If at any time it appears that Rifampicin has become unsuitable, it is important that the prescriber is contacted immediately.


Alcohol can interact with certain medicines.

In the case of Rifampicin:

  • there are no known interactions between alcohol and Rifampicin


Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your prescriber may advise you to avoid certain foods.

In the case of Rifampicin:

  • there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when taking Rifampicin

Driving and operating machinery

When taking any medicine you should be aware that it might interfere with your ability to drive or operate machinery safely.

Like all medicines Rifampicin can cause side effects. You should see how this medicine affects you and then judge if you are safe to drive or operate machinery. If you are in any doubt, talk to your prescriber.

Family planning and pregnancy

Most medicines, in some way, can affect the development of a baby in the womb. The effect on the baby differs between medicines and also depends on the stage of pregnancy that you have reached when you take the medicine.

In the case of Rifampicin:

  • you should only take this medicine if you are pregnant or could become pregnant if your doctor thinks that you need it
  • this medicine may make oral contraceptive pills less effective. If this could affect you, it is important that you use effective non-hormonal contraception

You need to discuss your specific circumstances with your doctor to weigh up the overall risks and benefits of taking this medicine. You and your doctor can make a decision about whether you are going to take this medicine during pregnancy.

If the decision is that you should not have Rifampicin, then you should discuss whether there is an alternative medicine that you could take during pregnancy.


Certain medicines can pass into breast milk and may reach your baby through breast-feeding.

In the case of Rifampicin:

  • breast-feeding is not recommended while taking this medicine. You should only take this medicine and breast-feed on the advice of your prescriber

Before you have your baby you should discuss breast-feeding with your doctor or midwife. They will help you decide what is best for you and your baby based on the benefits and risks associated with this medicine. You should only breast-feed your baby while taking this medicine on the advice of your doctor or midwife.

Taking other medicines

If you are taking more than one medicine they may interact with each other. At times your prescriber may decide to use medicines that interact, in other cases this may not be appropriate.

The decision to use medicines that interact depends on your specific circumstances. Your prescriber may decide to use medicines that interact, if it is believed that the benefits of taking the medicines together outweigh the risks. In such cases, it may be necessary to alter your dose or monitor you more closely.

Tell your prescriber the names of all the medicines that you are taking so that they can consider all possible interactions. This includes all the medicines which have been prescribed by your GP, hospital doctor, dentist, nurse, health visitor, midwife or pharmacist. You must also tell your prescriber about medicines which you have bought over the counter without prescriptions.

The following medicines may interact with Rifampicin:

  • amitriptyline
  • amprenavir
  • aripiprazole
  • atazanavir
  • atovaquone
  • bisoprolol
  • chloramphenicol
  • chlorpropamide
  • ciclosporin
  • clarithromycin
  • clofibrate
  • coumarin
  • dapsone
  • diazepam
  • digitoxin
  • digoxin
  • diltiazem
  • disopyramide
  • doxycycline
  • efavirenz
  • enalapril
  • eplerenone
  • fluconazole
  • gestrinone
  • haloperidol
  • halothane
  • imatinib
  • indinavir
  • irinotecan
  • isoniazid
  • isradipine
  • itraconazole
  • ketoconazole
  • levothyroxine
  • lopinavir
  • losartan
  • methadone
  • mexiletine
  • nelfinavir
  • nevirapine
  • nicardipine
  • nifedipine
  • nimodipine
  • nisoldipine
  • nortriptyline
  • ondansetron
  • p - amino salicylic acid
  • phenytoin
  • praziquantel
  • propafenone
  • propranolol
  • quinidine
  • quinine
  • riluzole
  • rosiglitazone
  • saquinavir
  • saquinavir/ritonavir
  • simvastatin
  • sirolimus
  • tacrolimus
  • tamoxifen
  • telithromycin
  • theophylline
  • tocainide
  • tolbutamide
  • toremifene
  • verapamil
  • voriconazole
  • zolpidem
  • zopiclone

The following types of medicine may interact with Rifampicin:

  • analgesics
  • antacids
  • antiarrhythmics
  • antibacterials
  • anticoagulants
  • antidiabetics
  • antiepileptics
  • antifungal agents
  • antipsychotics
  • antivirals
  • anxiolytics
  • barbiturates
  • benzodiazepines
  • beta-blockers
  • calcium channel blockers
  • cardiac glycosides
  • corticosteroids
  • cytotoxics
  • diuretics
  • fluoroquinolones
  • hormonal contraceptives
  • hormone antagonists
  • hypnotics
  • immunosuppressant medicines
  • medicines that are metabolised by the cytochrome P450 system
  • narcotic analgesics
  • oestrogens
  • oral contraceptives
  • progestogens
  • selective serotonin antagonist
  • statins
  • sulphonylureas
  • thyroid hormones
  • tricyclic antidepressants

If you are taking Rifampicin and one of the above medicines or types of medicines, make sure your prescriber knows about it.

Complementary preparations and vitamins

Medicines can interact with complementary preparations and vitamins. In general, there is not much information available about interactions between medicines and complementary preparations or vitamins.

If you are planning to take or are already taking any complementary preparations and vitamins you should ask your prescriber whether there are any known interactions with Rifampicin.

Your prescriber can advise whether it is appropriate for you to take combinations that are known to interact. They can also discuss with you the possible effect that the complementary preparations and vitamins may have on your condition.

If you experience any unusual effects while taking this medicine in combination with complementary preparations and vitamins, you should tell your prescriber.

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