Rifadin Capsules are one of a group of medicines called antibiotics. They are used to treat tuberculosis (also known as TB), and are active against some other organisms.

Why have I been prescribed Rifadin?

  • Rifadin Capsules are one of a group of medicines called antibiotics.
  • They are used to treat tuberculosis (also known as TB), and are active against some other organisms.

How does it work?

  • Rifadin contains a drug called Rifampicin.
  • This is a bactericidal drug which means it kills bacteria.

When and how do I take it?

You should swallow your capsules whole with water, but not with food. The capsules should be taken either 30 minutes before a meal or 2 hours after a meal.

What’s the dose?

  • The usual adult daily dose is between 3 and 4 capsules.
  • The usual daily dose for a child is 10-20 mg/kg body weight, however this should not usually exceed 4 capsules.
  • Your doctor will probably reduce your dose if you have impaired liver function.

Could it interact with other tablets?

Please tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken any other medicines. This includes medicines you buy without a prescription, including herbal medicines. This is because Rifadin can affect the way some other medicines work. Also some medicines can affect the way Rifadin work.

In particular, tell your doctor if you are taking:

The following medicines can make Rifadin work less well:

  • Antacids used for indigestion. Take Rifadin at least 1 hour before taking antacids
  • Other medicines used for TB such as P-aminosalicyclic acid (PAS). PAS and Rifadin should be taken at least 8 hours apart.

Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • Heart and blood medicines
  • Mental health, epilepsy and motor neurone medicines
  • Medicines for infections and the immune system
  • Hormone and cancer medicines
  • Pain, inflammation and gout medicines

Other medicines

  • Medicines used for diabetes.
  • Medicines used to relax muscles before surgery (anaesthetics) such as halothane.
  • Some medicines used for feeling sick or being sick such as ondansetron.
  • Quinine - used for malaria.
  • Theophylline - used for wheezing or difficulty in breathing.

Herbal products should also only be taken after talking with your doctor.

What are the possible risks or side-effects?

Go to a hospital straight away if you notice any of the following serious side effects:

  • You have an allergic reaction. The signs may include: a rash, swallowing or breathing problems, wheezing, swelling of your lips, face, throat or tongue.
  • You have a fever and yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, feel tired, weak or generally unwell, loss of appetite (anorexia), feeling sick (nausea), being sick (vomiting). These may be early signs of liver problems.
  • You get blistering, peeling, bleeding, scaling or fluid filled patches on any part of your skin. This includes your lips, eyes, mouth, nose, genitals, hands or feet. You may have a serious skin problem.
  • You bruise more easily than usual. Or you may have a painful rash of dark red spots under the skin which do not go away when you press on them (purpura). This could be because of a serious blood problem.
  • You have chills, tiredness, unusually pale skin colour, shortness of breath, fast heartbeat or dark coloured urine. This could be signs of a serious type of anaemia.
  • You have blood in your urine or an increase or decrease in amount of urine you produce. You may also get swelling, especially of the legs, ankles or feet. This may be caused by serious kidney problems.
  • You have a sudden severe headache. This could be a sign of bleeding in the brain.
  • You get confused, sleepy, cold clammy skin, shallow or difficult breathing, a racing heartbeat or your skin is paler than normal. These could be signs of shock.
  • You get more infections more easily than normal. Signs include fever, sore throat or mouth ulcers. This could be because you have a low number of white blood cells.
  • You have bleeding from your nose, ear, gums, throat, skin or stomach. Signs may include a feeling of tenderness and swelling in your stomach, purple spots on your skin and black or tar-like stools.
  • Severe watery diarrhoea that will not stop and you are feeling weak and have a fever. This may be something called ‘Pseudomembranous colitis’.

Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you have any of the following side effects:

  • Water retention (oedema) which may cause swollen face, stomach, arms or legs.
  • Muscle weakness or pain or loss of muscle reflexes.
  • Dizziness, feel lightheaded and faint especially when you stand or sit up quickly (due to low blood pressure).
  • Swollen fingers, toes or ankles.
  • Hair loss.
  • Being unable to concentrate, feeling nervous, irritable or depressed.
  • Feeling very tired and weak or difficulty sleeping (insomnia).
  • Short-term memory loss, anxiety, being less alert or responsive.
  • Wasting of muscles or other body tissues.
  • Weight loss, night sweats and fever. These could be signs of a blood condition called eosinophilia.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side effects get serious or lasts longer than a few days:

If you notice any other side effects not listed in this leaflet talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Can I drink alcohol while taking it?

There are no known interactions between alcohol and Rifadin.

Always ask you doctor or pharmacist however as other medications you are taking may have a bearing on this.

What if I’m pregnant/breastfeeding?

  • Tell your doctor if you are or may be pregnant or are breastfeeding.
  • If you are using oral contraception (“the Pill”) it is important that you use an alternative barrier method of contraception or the “coil” whilst taking Rifadin.
  • Rifadin may make “the Pill” less effective.

If you have any more questions please ask your Pharmacist.

Remember to keep all medicines out of reach of children
Please Note
: We have made every effort to ensure that the content of this information sheet is correct at time of publish, but remember that information about drugs may change. This sheet does not list all the uses and side-effects associated with this drug. For full details please see the drug information leaflet which comes with your medicine. Your doctor will assess your medical circumstances and draw your attention to any information or side-effects which may be relevant in your particular case.







Health Reference: Tuberculosis