Rifinah is one of a group of medicines used to treat tuberculosis (also known as TB) of the lung.

Why have I been prescribed Rifinah?

Rifinah is one of a group of medicines used to treat tuberculosis (also known as TB) of the lung.

How does it work?

  • Rifinah contains two different drugs, Rifampicin and isoniazid.
  • They are active bactericidal antituberculous drugs which means they kill the bacteria that cause TB.

When and how do I take it?

  • Take this medicine by mouth.
  • Swallow the tablets whole, with a drink of water.
  • Take the tablets on an empty stomach, at least 30 minutes before a meal or 2 hours after a meal.
  • Take all your tablets together each day, as a single dose.
  • Do not give this medicine to children.
  • If you feel the effect of your medicine is too weak or too strong, do not change the dose yourself, but ask your doctor.

Foods containing tyramine, (e.g. cheese, red wine) and histamine (e.g. skipjack, tuna or other tropical fish) should be avoided while you are taking Rifinah Tablets.

Your doctor may ask you to take Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) during treatment with Rifinah Tablets, especially if you are malnourished, elderly or diabetic.

What’s the dose?

The usual adult daily dose is:

Adults and elderly

  • Usual dose is 3 tablets each day.
  • The amount depends on your body weight.
  • If you are elderly your doctor may monitor your treatment more closely.

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 Rifinah can affect the way some other medicines work. Also some medicines can affect the way Rifinah works.

In particular, do not take this medicine, and tell your doctor, if you are taking:

  • Saquinavir or ritonavir used for HIV infection.

The following medicines can make Rifinah Tablets work less well:

  • Antacids used for indigestion. Take Rifinah Tablets at least 1 hour before taking antacids.
  • Other medicines used for TB such as P-aminosalicyclic acid (PAS). PAS and Rifinah Tablets 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 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?

Like all medicines, Rifinah can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.

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.

Talk to your doctor straight away if you notice any of the following serious side effects:

  • Mental problems with unusual thoughts and strange visions (hallucinations).
  • Your stomach ulcer gets worse.
  • Severe watery diarrhoea that will not stop and you are feeling weak and have a fever. This may be something called ‘Pseudomembranous colitis’.
  • Severe stomach pain which may reach through to your back. This could be a sign of pancreatitis.
  • Seizures.

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.
  • Balance problems with dizziness (vertigo).
  • Feeling very tired and weak or difficulty sleeping (insomnia).
  • Unusual skin sensations such as feeling numb, tingling, pricking, burning or creeping on the skin (paraesthesia).
  • Short-term memory loss, anxiety, being less alert or responsive.
  • Blurred or distorted eyesight.
  • 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:

  • Skin flushing or itching or being more sensitive to sunlight.
  • Painful, red, swollen joints.
  • Pain or discomfort when passing urine.
  • Irregular periods.
  • Constipation, diarrhoea, stomach discomfort or dry mouth.
  • Increased thirst, going to the toilet more often and feeling tired. Your blood sugar may be high.

Can I drink alcohol while taking it?

Alcohol should not be drank while taking Rifinah.

What if I’m pregnant/breastfeeding?

  • Tell your doctor if you are or may be pregnant or are breast feeding.
  • 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 Rifinah. Rifinah may make “the Pill” less effective. If you have any questions or are unsure about this talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

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