Rifabutin - oral
Rifabutin - oral
This medication is used alone or with another medication to help prevent a certain serious infection (Mycobacterium avium complex-MAC). Rifabutin is known as a rifamycin antibiotic. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.
This antibiotic treats and prevents only bacterial infections. It will not work for viral infections (such as common cold, flu). Using any antibiotic when it is not needed can cause it to not work for future infections.
This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This drug may also be used for active MAC infection or active tuberculosis (TB) infection. It may also be used to reduce the risk of active TB infections in people who may be infected with the bacteria (people with positive TB skin test).
Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually once or twice daily or as directed by your doctor. Take this medication with food if stomach upset occurs. For the treatment of tuberculosis, this drug is sometimes taken twice weekly.
Dosage is based on your medical condition, weight, interacting drugs, and response to treatment.
For the best effect, take this antibiotic at evenly spaced times. To help you remember, take this medication at the same time(s) every day.
Continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms disappear. Stopping the medication too early or skipping doses may allow the bacteria to continue to grow, which may result in a return of the infection and cause the infection to be more difficult to treat (resistant).
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Diarrhea, stomach upset, changes in taste, or nausea/vomiting may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
This medication may cause urine, sweat, saliva, or tears to turn brown-orange. This effect is harmless and will disappear when the medication is stopped. However, dentures and contact lenses may be permanently stained.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but serious side effects occur:
This medication may rarely cause a severe intestinal condition (Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea) due to a type of resistant bacteria. This condition may occur during treatment or weeks to months after treatment has stopped. Do not use anti-diarrhea or opioid medications if you have any of the following symptoms because these products may make them worse. Tell your doctor right away if you develop: persistent diarrhea, abdominal or stomach pain/cramping, blood/mucus in your stool.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
In the US -
Before taking rifabutin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other rifamycins (such as rifampin); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Rifabutin may cause live bacterial vaccines (such as typhoid vaccine) to not work as well. Do not have any immunizations/vaccinations while using this medication unless your doctor tells you to.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor before breast-feeding. If you have HIV disease, do not breast-feed because breast milk can transmit HIV.
Some products that may interact with this drug include:
Rifabutin can speed up the removal of other medications from your body, which may affect how they work. Examples of affected drugs include aprepitant/fosaprepitant, lurasidone, phenytoin, ranolazine, suvorexant, tacrolimus, tasimelteon, "blood thinners" (such as warfarin), calcium channel blockers (such as diltiazem, verapamil), certain combination products used to treat chronic hepatitis C (ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir), among others.
This medication may decrease the effectiveness of hormonal birth control such as pills, patch, or ring. This could cause pregnancy. Discuss with your doctor or pharmacist if you should use additional reliable birth control methods while using this medication. Also tell your doctor if you have any new spotting or breakthrough bleeding, because these may be signs that your birth control is not working well.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as liver function, complete blood count) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised June 2018.
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