Rifampin (Rifadin) is an antibiotic that may be used to treat certain types of infection, including tuberculosis, or it may be given to help prevent the development of an infection called meningitis in a person exposed to someone who has been found to have the disease.

It is available as a capsule or injection. Your pharmacy may also be able to make a liquid form for you.

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • This medicine is best given on an empty stomach one hour before or two hours after a meal. If your child complains of stomach upset after taking rifampin on an empty stomach, it is OK to take it with a snack.
  • Capsules should be taken with a full glass of water. If your child has trouble swallowing the capsule, open the capsule and pour the powder into a small amount of applesauce or jelly.
  • Shake the liquid well and use a measuring spoon or oral syringe to give the dose.
  • Refrigerate liquid medicine.
  • Do not take after the expiration date on the prescription bottle.
  • Rifampin may make urine, stool, saliva, sweat, and tears turn a red-orange color. This happens often and is not harmful.
  • Do not wear soft contact lenses while taking this medicine. It may stain them.
  • While taking this medicine, birth control pills may not work as well, so use another form of protection against pregnancy.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while taking this medicine.
  • Keep this medication out of the reach of children
  • If too much medication is taken by accident, call the Drug and Poison Information Center (DPIC), 513-636-5111 or 1-800-222-1222 or call your child's doctor right away.
  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Fever / flu-like symptoms
  • Yellowing of skin and/or eyes
  • Dark urine
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Numbness, pain, or tingling in arms or legs
  • Unsteadiness or weakness
  • Blurred vision or eye pain 

Last Updated 11/2013