RIFAMPIN — rifampin capsule
Physicians Total Care, Inc.

Rx Only

To reduce the development of drug-resistant bacteria and maintain the effectiveness of rifampin capsules, USP and other antibacterial drugs, rifampin should be used only to treat or prevent infections that are proven or strongly suspected to be caused by bacteria.


Rifampin capsules, USP for oral administration contain 150 mg or 300 mg rifampin per capsule. The 150 mg and 300 mg capsules contain a powder that is brick-red in color. The 150 mg and 300 mg capsules also contain, as inactive ingredients: pregelatinized starch, colloidal silicon dioxide, talc, magnesium stearate, D&C Red # 28, FD&C Blue # 1, FD&C Red # 40, gelatin, and titanium dioxide.

Rifampin is a semisynthetic antibiotic derivative of rifamycin SV. Rifampin is a red-brown crystalline powder very slightly soluble in water at neutral pH, freely soluble in chloroform, soluble in ethyl acetate and in methanol. Its molecular weight is 822.95 and its chemical formula is C43 H58 N4 O12 . The chemical name for rifampin is either:

or5,6,9,17,19,21-hexahydroxy-23-methoxy-2,4,12,16,20,22– heptamethyl-8-[N-(4-methyl-1-piperazinyl)formimidoyl]-2,7-(epoxypentadeca [1,11,13]trienimino)naphtho[2,1-b ]furan-1,11(2H)-dione 21-acetate.

Its structural formula is:

Chemical Structure
(click image for full-size original)


Oral Administration

Rifampin is readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. Peak serum concentrations in healthy adults and pediatric populations vary widely from individual to individual. Following a single 600 mg oral dose of rifampin in healthy adults, the peak serum concentration averages 7 mcg/mL but may vary from 4 to 32 mcg/mL. Absorption of rifampin is reduced by about 30% when the drug is ingested with food.

Rifampin is widely distributed throughout the body. It is present in effective concentrations in many organs and body fluids, including cerebrospinal fluid. Rifampin is about 80% protein bound. Most of the unbound fraction is not ionized and, therefore, diffuses freely into tissues.

In healthy adults, the mean biological half-life of rifampin in serum averages 3.35 ± 0.66 hours after a 600 mg oral dose, with increases up to 5.08 ± 2.45 hours reported after a 900 mg dose. With repeated administration, the half-life decreases and reaches average values of approximately 2 to 3 hours. The half-life does not differ in patients with renal failure at doses not exceeding 600 mg daily, and consequently, no dosage adjustment is required. The half-life of rifampin at a dose of 720 mg daily has not been established in patients with renal failure. Following a single 900 mg oral dose of rifampin in patients with varying degrees of renal insufficiency, the mean half-life increased from 3.6 hours in healthy adults to 5, 7.3, and 11 hours in patients with glomerular filtration rates of 30 to 50 mL/min, less than 30 mL/min, and in anuric patients, respectively. Refer to the WARNINGS section for information regarding patients with hepatic insufficiency.

After absorption, rifampin is rapidly eliminated in the bile, and an enterohepatic circulation ensues. During this process, rifampin undergoes progressive deacetylation so that nearly all the drug in the bile is in this form in about 6 hours. This metabolite has antibacterial activity. Intestinal reabsorption is reduced by deacetylation, and elimination is facilitated. Up to 30% of a dose is excreted in the urine, with about half of this being unchanged drug.

Intravenous Administration

After intravenous administration of a 300 or 600 mg dose of rifampin infused over 30 minutes to healthy male volunteers (n=12), mean peak plasma concentrations were 9 ± 3 and 17.5 ± 5 mcg/mL, respectively. Total body clearances after the 300 and 600 mg IV doses were 0.19 ± 0.06 and 0.14 ± 0.03 L/hr/kg, respectively. Volumes of distribution at steady state were 0.66 ± 0.14 and 0.64 ± 0.11 L/kg for the 300 and 600 mg IV doses, respectively. After intravenous administration of 300 or 600 mg doses, rifampin plasma concentrations in these volunteers remained detectable for 8 and 12 hours, respectively (see Table).

Plasma Concentrations (mean ± standard deviation, mcg/mL)
RifampinDosage IV 30 min 1 hr 2 hr 4 hr 8 hr 12 hr
300 mg 8.9±2.9 4.9±1.3 4±1.3 2.5±1 1.1±0.6 <0.4
600 mg 17.4±5.1 11.7±2.8 9.4±2.3 6.4±1.7 3.5±1.4 1.2±0.6

Plasma concentrations after the 600 mg dose, which were disproportionately higher (up to 30% greater than expected) than those found after the 300 mg dose, indicated that the elimination of larger doses was not as rapid.

After repeated once-a-day infusions (3 hr duration) of 600 mg in patients (n=5) for 7 days, concentrations of IV rifampin decreased from 5.81 ± 3.38 mcg/mL 8 hours after the infusion on day 1 to 2.6 ± 1.88 mcg/mL 8 hours after the infusion on day 7.

Rifampin is widely distributed throughout the body. It is present in effective concentrations in many organs and body fluids, including cerebrospinal fluid. Rifampin is about 80% protein bound. Most of the unbound fraction is not ionized and therefore diffuses freely into tissues.

Rifampin is rapidly eliminated in the bile and undergoes progressive enterohepatic circulation and deacetylation to the primary metabolite, 25-desacetyl-rifampin. This metabolite is microbiologically active. Less than 30% of the dose is excreted in the urine as rifampin or metabolites. Serum concentrations do not differ in patients with renal failure at a studied dose of 300 mg and consequently, no dosage adjustment is required.


Oral Administration

In one study, pediatric patients 6 to 58 months old were given rifampin suspended in simple syrup or as dry powder mixed with applesauce at a dose of 10 mg/kg body weight. Peak serum concentrations of 10.7 ± 3.7 and 11.5 ± 5.1 mcg/mL were obtained 1 hour after preprandial ingestion of the drug suspension and the applesauce mixture, respectively. After the administration of either preparation, the t1/2 of rifampin averaged 2.9 hours. It should be noted that in other studies in pediatric populations, at doses of 10 mg/kg body weight, mean peak serum concentrations of 3.5 mcg/mL to 15 mcg/mL have been reported.

Intravenous Administration

In pediatric patients 0.25 to 12.8 years old (n=12), the mean peak serum concentration of rifampin at the end of a 30 minute infusion of approximately 300 mg/m2 was 25.9 ± 1.3 mcg/mL; individual peak concentrations 1 to 4 days after initiation of therapy ranged from 11.7 to 41.5 mcg/mL; individual peak concentrations 5 to 14 days after initiation of therapy were 13.6 to 37.4 mcg/mL. The individual serum half-life of rifampin changed from 1.04 to 3.81 hours early in therapy to 1.17 to 3.19 hours 5 to 14 days after therapy was initiated.

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