Last reviewed 01/2018

Rifampicin is a drug that is indicated in:

  • tuberculosis
  • meningococcal meningitis prophylaxis
  • leprosy

Cautious use is required:

  • it discolours soft contact lenses
  • reduce dose in:
    • hepatic impairment
    • alcoholism
    • pregnancy
  • users of the oral contraceptive pill should take additional contraceptive precautions

Contra-indications to its use are:

  • jaundice
  • porphyria

Side-effects of rifampicin include:

  • shortness of breath
  • collapse and shock
  • acute renal failure
  • thrombocytopenic purpura
  • gastrointestinal symptoms
  • influenzal syndrome
  • hepatic reactions with alterations of liver function, jaundice, urticaria and rashes
  • urine, saliva and other secretions coloured orange-red

Routes of administration:

  • oral:
    • tablets
    • capsules
    • syrup
  • i.v. infusion

The summary of product characteristics should be consulted before prescribing this drug.