Rifampicin: What is it? Presentation, Indications, Dosage, Overdose and Side Effects

It is a bactericidal antibiotic from the rifamycins group.

Rifampicin also comes in tablets mixed with other medications used to treat Tuberculosis, such as Rifater and Rifinah.

The bacteria that cause Tuberculosis are hard to kill. Rifampicin is one of these critical medications.

It may not necessarily have the symptoms of Tuberculosis infection. Any symptoms should begin to improve soon after starting treatment.

It would help if you continued administering the medications until your doctor told you to stop.

If you stop too soon or you do not take medicine as your doctor told you, it is possible that the bacteria will not be eliminated and that the Tuberculosis will come back.

It is also possible for bacteria to become resistant to the first drugs, which means that they will no longer work, and other, more potent drugs will have to be used, or Tuberculosis will no longer be treatable.



  • Cápsulas: 150 mg, 300 mg.
  • Liquid medicine : 100 mg per 5 ml; This syrup contains sucrose.


Rifampicin (along with other anti-TB drugs) is usually given once daily. This can be in the morning or the afternoon.

Administer the medication at approximately the same time each day so that this becomes part of your daily routine.

It would help if you administered rifampicin when you have an empty stomach. Give it 30 minutes before a meal or 2 hours after a meal.


Your doctor will calculate the amount of rifampicin that is right for you. The dose will be shown on the medication label.

The dose of rifampin you need depends on your weight. It may need to be adjusted from time to time, especially in infants and young children. Your doctor will tell you if it is necessary.

You must follow your doctor’s instructions about how much to take.

They should be swallowed whole with a glass of water or juice (but not with milk). It would help if you did not chew the capsule.

Liquid medication: Measure the correct amount with a medicine spoon or oral syringe.

You can get these from your pharmacist. Do not use a kitchen teaspoon since it will not give the correct amount.

When should the medication start work?

You will feel better after taking anti-TB medications for about two weeks, and you should have fewer symptoms.

They should continue taking the medications every day until the doctor asks them to stop the treatment. This will be for at least 3-6 months.

What happens if I vomit?

If you are sick less than 30 minutes after receiving a dose of rifampicin, retake the same amount.

If you are sick again, ask your GP, pharmacist, or hospital for advice. They will decide what to do depending on their condition and the specific medicine involved.

What happens if I forget to take it?

If you forget to take it, administer it as soon as you remember it, as long as this is not more than 12 hours after the missed dose.

Tell your nurse/doctor if you miss a dose.

Never consume a double dose of rifampin.


It can be dangerous to administer too much rifampicin.

If you think you have taken too much, contact your doctor or go to the hospital.

Take the medication container with you, even if it is empty. This will be useful for the doctor. Take the package with you if you call for advice.

Side effects

If you have swelling of the face, lips, or tongue, difficulty breathing, rash, or itching, go immediately to your doctor or hospital, as you may be allergic to rifampicin.

If you develop any of the following reactions, go immediately to your doctor, nurse, or hospital:

  • Severe dizziness or fainting
  • Swollen face, stomach, arms, or legs can mean that they have water accumulation (fluid retention).
  • Yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes.
  • Sores or blisters on the skin or in the mouth.
  • Passing only small amounts of urine or none at all.
  • Bleeding from the nose, gums, throat, or blood in the urine.

Other side effects you should know.

You may have the following symptoms when you start taking rifampin for the first time. They should disappear as the body gets used to the medication.

If they continue to be a problem after a week or so, contact your doctor or nurse for advice:

  • They may have stomach cramps, feel sick with vomiting or have diarrhea.
  • They may have headaches, feel tired (sleep), or appear confused.