RIFAMPIN- rifampin capsule
Lupin Pharmaceuticals, 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 also contain, as inactive ingredients: corn starch, crospovidone, D & C Red no. 28, FD & C Blue no. 1, FD & C Red no. 40, gelatin, magnesium stearate, potassium hydroxide, pregelatinized starch, propylene glycol, shellac, sodium lauryl sulphate 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:



5,6,9,17,19,21-hexahydroxy-23-methoxy-2,4,12,16,18,20,22–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:

(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 5.0, 7.3, and 11.0 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.


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.


Mechanism of Action

Rifampin inhibits DNA-dependent RNA polymerase activity in susceptible Mycobacterium tuberculosis organisms. Specifically, it interacts with bacterial RNA polymerase but does not inhibit the mammalian enzyme.

Drug Resistance

Organisms resistant to rifampin are likely to be resistant to other rifamycins.

In the treatment of both tuberculosis and the meningococcal carrier state (see INDICATIONS AND USAGE ), the small number of resistant cells present within large populations of susceptible cells can rapidly become predominant. In addition, resistance to rifampin has been determined to occur as single-step mutations of the DNA-dependent RNA polymerase. Since resistance can emerge rapidly, appropriate susceptibility tests should be performed in the event of persistent positive cultures.

Activity in vitro and in vivo

Rifampin has bactericidal activity in vitro against slow and intermittently growing M tuberculosis organisms.

Rifampin has been shown to be active against most isolates of the following microorganisms, both in vitro and in clinical infections (see INDICATIONS AND USAGE ).

Aerobic Gram-Negative Microorganisms:

Neisseria meningitidis

“Other” Microorganisms:

Mycobacterium tuberculosis

The following in vitro data are available, but their clinical significance is unknown.

At least 90% of the following bacteria exhibit an in vitro minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) less than or equal to the susceptible breakpoint for rifampin against isolates of similar genus or organism group. However, the efficacy of rifampin in treating clinical infections caused by these bacteria has not been established in adequate and well-controlled clinical trials.

Aerobic Gram-Positive Microorganisms:

Staphylococcus aureus (including Methicillin-Resistant S aureus /MRSA)

Staphylococcus epidermidis

Aerobic Gram-Negative Microorganisms:

Haemophilus influenzae

“Other” Microorganisms:

Mycobacterium leprae

ß-lactamase production should have no effect on rifampin activity.

Susceptibility Testing

For specific information regarding susceptibility test interpretive criteria and associated test methods and quality control standards recognized by FDA for this drug, please see: https://www.fda.gov/STIC.


In the treatment of both tuberculosis and the meningococcal carrier state, the small number of resistant cells present within large populations of susceptible cells can rapidly become the predominant type. Bacteriologic cultures should be obtained before the start of therapy to confirm the susceptibility of the organism to rifampin and they should be repeated throughout therapy to monitor the response to treatment. Since resistance can emerge rapidly, susceptibility tests should be performed in the event of persistent positive cultures during the course of treatment. If test results show resistance to rifampin and the patient is not responding to therapy, the drug regimen should be modified.


Rifampin is indicated in the treatment of all forms of tuberculosis.

A three-drug regimen consisting of rifampin, isoniazid, and pyrazinamide (e.g., RIFATER®*) is recommended in the initial phase of short-course therapy which is usually continued for 2 months. The Advisory Council for the Elimination of Tuberculosis, the American Thoracic Society, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that either streptomycin or ethambutol be added as a fourth drug in a regimen containing isoniazid (INH), rifampin, and pyrazinamide for initial treatment of tuberculosis unless the likelihood of INH resistance is very low. The need for a fourth drug should be reassessed when the results of susceptibility testing are known. If community rates of INH resistance are currently less than 4%, an initial treatment regimen with less than four drugs may be considered.

Following the initial phase, treatment should be continued with rifampin and isoniazid (e.g., RIFAMATE®**) for at least 4 months. Treatment should be continued for longer if the patient is still sputum or culture positive, if resistant organisms are present, or if the patient is HIV positive.

Rifampin IV is indicated for the initial treatment and retreatment of tuberculosis when the drug cannot be taken by mouth.

All MedLibrary.org resources are included in as near-original form as possible, meaning that the information from the original provider has been rendered here with only typographical or stylistic modifications and not with any substantive alterations of content, meaning or intent.

This site is provided for educational and informational purposes only, in accordance with our Terms of Use, and is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a medical doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner or other qualified health professional.

Privacy Policy | Copyright © 2020. All Rights Reserved.