Generic name: rifamycin [ rif-a-MYE-sin ]
Drug class: Rifamycin derivatives
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Sep 30, 2023.
Uses for rifamycin
Rifamycin is used to treat traveler's diarrhea that is caused by a bacteria called Escherichia coli. Rifamycin is an antibiotic that works by killing the bacteria and preventing its growth. However, this medicine will not work for colds, flu, or other virus infections.
This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using rifamycin
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of rifamycin in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of rifamycin in the elderly.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Diarrhea not caused by Escherichia coli or
- Diarrhea with fever or bloody stool—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
Proper use of rifamycin
Take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.
You may take this medicine with or without food.
Swallow the tablet whole with a full glass of liquid (6 to 8 ounces). Do not chew, break, or crush it.
Do not take this medicine with alcohol.
To help clear up your infection completely, keep using this medicine for the full time of treatment, even if you begin to feel better after a few days. If you stop using this medicine too soon, your infection may return.
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For oral dosage form (delayed-release tablets):
- For traveler's diarrhea:
- Adults—388 milligrams (mg) (2 tablets) 2 times a day for 3 days.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For traveler's diarrhea:
If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Precautions while using rifamycin
It is very important that your doctor check your progress to see if the medicine is working properly and to check for unwanted effects.
Call your doctor if your diarrhea does not improve or if it gets worse within 48 hours.
Check with your doctor right away if you develop a fever or have blood in your stool.
Antibacterials, including rifamycin may also cause diarrhea, and in some cases it can be severe. It may occur 2 months or more after you stop using this medicine. Do not take any medicine to treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor. Diarrhea medicines may make the diarrhea worse or make it last longer. If you have any questions about this or if mild diarrhea continues, or gets worse, check with your doctor.
You can become dehydrated if too much fluid is lost from the body with diarrhea. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids while you have diarrhea. Check with your doctor right away if you have more than one of the following symptoms: decreased urination, dizziness, dry mouth, increased thirst, or lightheadedness.
Side Effects of rifamycin
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- stomach pain
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- stomach discomfort or upset
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More about rifamycin
- Check interactions
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- Side effects
- Dosage information
- During pregnancy
- Drug class: rifamycin derivatives
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