Rifabutin

Generic Name: rifabutin (RIF-a-BUE-tin)
Brand Name: Mycobutin

Rifabutin is used for:

Preventing Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) disease in patients with advanced HIV infection.

Rifabutin is an antibacterial. It works by preventing or slowing the growth of certain bacteria.

Do NOT use rifabutin if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in rifabutin or to any other rifamycins (eg, rifampin)
  • you have active tuberculosis (TB) or kidney problems
  • you are taking an HIV protease inhibitor (eg, ritonavir) or voriconazole

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using rifabutin:

Some medical conditions may interact with rifabutin. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have kidney problems

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with rifabutin. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines used for infections (eg, voriconazole), blood thinners, high cholesterol, birth control, heart problems, HIV infection (eg, ritonavir), mental or mood problems, seizures, or diabetes, and herbs found in multivitamin products, herbal teas, and dietary supplements (eg, garlic, St. John's wort) may interact with rifabutin and increase the risk of side effects

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if rifabutin may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use rifabutin:

Use rifabutin as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take rifabutin by mouth with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
  • Do not wear contact lenses while you are taking rifabutin. Sterilize contact lenses according to manufacturer's directions and check with your doctor before using them.
  • To clear up your infection completely, take rifabutin for the full course of treatment. Keep taking it even if you feel better in a few days.
  • If you miss a dose of rifabutin, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use rifabutin.

Important safety information:

  • Rifabutin may discolor the urine, stools, saliva, sweat, tears, and skin (usually a brown-orange color). This is normal and not a cause for concern. It may also permanently stain soft contact lenses. If possible, do not wear contact lenses while you are taking rifabutin.
  • Rifabutin only works against bacteria; it does not treat viral infections (eg, the common cold).
  • Be sure to use rifabutin for the full course of treatment. If you do not, the medicine may not clear up your infection completely. The bacteria could also become less sensitive to this or other medicines. This could make the infection harder to treat in the future.
  • Long-term or repeated use of rifabutin may cause a second infection. Tell your doctor if signs of a second infection occur. Your medicine may need to be changed to treat this.
  • Rifabutin may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
  • Mild diarrhea is common with antibiotic use. However, a more serious form of diarrhea (pseudomembranous colitis) may rarely occur. This may develop while you use the antibiotic or within several months after you stop using it. Contact your doctor right away if stomach pain or cramps, severe diarrhea, or bloody stools occur. Do not treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor.
  • Hormonal birth control (eg, birth control pills) may not work as well while you are using rifabutin. To prevent pregnancy, use an extra form of birth control (eg, condoms).
  • Lab tests, including complete blood cell counts, may be performed while you use rifabutin. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Rifabutin should not be used in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: It is not known if rifabutin can cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant while taking rifabutin, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using rifabutin while you are pregnant. It is not known if rifabutin is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking rifabutin.

Possible side effects of rifabutin:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Changes in taste; diarrhea; discolored urine; headache; indigestion; loss of appetite; nausea; sleeplessness; stomach pain; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody stools; chest pain; eye pain, swelling, or sensitivity to light; flu-like symptoms (eg, fever, chills, sore throat); severe or persistent diarrhea; severe stomach pain or cramps; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual muscle pain or weakness; vision changes or decreased vision; yellowing of skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of rifabutin:

Store rifabutin at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep rifabutin out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about rifabutin, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Rifabutin is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take rifabutin or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about rifabutin. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to rifabutin. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using rifabutin.

Issue Date: December 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.4.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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