RIFAMPICIN 300 MG CAPSULES
Active substance(s): RIFAMPICIN
PATIENT INFORMATION LEAFLET
Read all of this leaflet carefully before you start taking this medicine.
- Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.
- If you have any further questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
- This medicine has been prescribed for you only. Do not pass it on to
others. It may harm them, even if their signs of illness are the same as
- If you get any of the side-effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This
includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. See section 4.
Your medicine is available using the above name but will be referred to as
Rimactane throughout this leaflet.
What is in this leaflet:
1. What Rimactane is and what it is used for
2. What you need to know before you take Rimactane
3. How to take Rimactane
4. Possible side effects
5. How to store Rimactane
6. Contents of the pack and other information
1. WHAT RIMACTANE IS AND WHAT IT IS USED FOR
Rimactane contains a medicine called rifampicin. It belongs to a group of
medicines called anti-bacterials. It works by killing the bacteria that cause
Rimactane is used to treat the following bacterial infections:
- In combination with other drugs for the treatment and prevention of
tuberculosis (also known as TB), an infectious disease mainly affecting
the lungs and some other infections
- Prevention of meningococcal meningitis.
2. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU TAKE RIMACTANE
Do not take Rimactane if you:
- are allergic to active substance or to any of the other ingredients of this
medicine (listed in section 6).
- Signs of an allergic reaction include: a rash, swallowing or breathing
problems, swelling of your lips, face, throat or tongue.
- have jaundice – yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes caused by
liver or blood problems.
- are taking saquinavir or ritonavir for an HIV infection (see ‘Other
medicines and Rimactane’ section below).
Do not take if any of the above applies to you. If you are not sure, talk to
your doctor or pharmacist before taking Rimactane.
Warnings and precautions
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking Rimactane if you:
- have a rare blood disorder called ‘porphyria’.
- have or previously had any liver problem.
- have any kidney problems and if you are having more than 600 mg
rifampicin per day.
- have a history of alcohol dependence.
- have taken a course of rifampicin in the past.
- have diabetes. Your diabetes may become more difficult to control while
taking this medicine.
- feel numb or weak in your arms and legs (peripheral neuropathy).
- are under weight or malnourished.
- wear contact lenses. Taking Rimactane may permanently stain soft
contact lenses. Do not wear soft contact lenses whilst you are taking this
medicine and for one week after stopping treatment.
- the person taking this medicine is a child.
- are aged 65 years or older.
If you are not sure if any of the above applies to you, talk to your doctor or
pharmacist before taking Rimactane.
Your doctor will need to check your blood before you take this medicine.
This will help your doctor know if any changes happen to your blood after
taking this medicine. You may also need to have regular blood tests to
check how your liver is working.
Other medicines and Rimactane
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking, have recently taken or
might take any other medicines. This includes medicines you buy without a
prescription, including herbal medicines. This is because Rimactane can
affect the way some other medicines work. Also some medicines can affect
the way Rimactane work.
- praziquantel - used for tapeworm infections
- atovaquone - used for pneumonia
- fexofenadine- used for allergies.
Hormone and cancer medicines
- some hormone medicines (estrogen, systemic hormones, progestogens)
used for contraception or some types of cancer such as ethinyloestradiol,
levonorgestrel or dydrogesterone
- some hormone medicines (anti-estrogens) used for breast cancer or
endometriosis such as tamoxifen, toremifene and gestrinone
- used for cancer (cytotoxics) such as imatinib
- levothyroxine (thyroid hormone) used for thyroid problems
- irinotecan - used for cancer.
Pain, inflammation and gout medicines
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as etoricoxib,
aspirin and indometacin
- used for pain such as codeine, morphine, fentanyl or pethidine
- corticosteroids used for inflammation such as hydrocortisone,
betamethasone and prednisolone
- methadone - used for heroin withdrawal.
- used for diabetes
- used to relax muscles before surgery (anaesthetics) such as halothane
- used for feeling sick or being sick such as ondansetron and aprepitant
- quinine - used for malaria
- theophylline - used for wheezing or difficulty in breathing
- fesoterodine - used for overactive bladder
- tadalafil - used for impotence
- cimetidine - used for ulcer-healing drugs.
Taking Rimactane with food and drink
Take Rimactane on an empty stomach. This means at least 30 minutes
before food or 2 hours after food. Do not drink any alcohol while you are
Pregnancy and breast-feeding
Talk to your doctor before taking this medicine if you are pregnant, plan to
get pregnant or think you are pregnant.
Rimactane may make the contraceptive “pill” work less well. This means
you should change to a different type of contraception. Instead, you must
use a reliable barrier method of contraception such as condoms or the “coil”
while taking Rimactane. If you have any questions or are unsure about this
talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
You should not breast-feed if you are taking Rimactane. This is because
small amounts may pass into the mothersʼ milk. If you are breast-feeding or
planning to breast-feed, talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking any
Driving and using machines
You may feel dizzy or faint, have problems with vision or have other side
effects that could affect your ability to drive while taking this medicine. If this
happens, do not drive or use any tools or machines.
Rimactane contains lactose
If you have been told by your doctor that you have an intolerance to some
sugars, contact your doctor before taking this medicinal product.
3. HOW TO TAKE RIMACTANE
Always take this medicine exactly as your doctor has told you. Check with
your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
Take your medicine on an empty stomach. The best time to take it is half
an hour before a meal with water.
For the treatment of tuberculosis:
Adult: 450 mg or 600 mg Rimactane daily, depending on your weight, for
Children: 10 mg to 20 mg per kg of body weight daily for 6-9 months. The
maximum dose is 600 mg each day.
Occasionally the Rimactane dose is given 2-3 times a week instead of
Rimactane must always be taken with at least one and preferably two other
For the prevention of meningococcal meningitis:
Adults: 600 mg twice a day for 2 days.
Children over 1 month: 10 mg per kg every 12 hours for 2 days.
In particular, do not take this medicine, and tell your doctor, if you are
- Saquinavir or ritonavir used for HIV infection.
Children under 1 month: 5 mg per kg every 12 hours for 2 days.
The following medicines can make Rimactane work less well:
- Antacids used for indigestion. Take Rimactane at least 1 hour before
- Other medicines used for TB such as P-aminosalicyclic acid (PAS). PAS
and Rimactane should be taken at least 8 hours apart.
If you are not sure how many capsules to take, ask your doctor or
Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:
Heart and blood medicines
- for high blood pressure, heart disorders or to control your heartbeat such
- antiarrhythmics (e.g. quinidine, lorcainide, disopyramide)
- beta blockers (e.g. propanolol, atenolol)
- calcium channel blockers (e.g. nifedipine, verapamil)
- ACE inhibitors (e.g. enalapril, imidapril)
- vasodilators (e.g. bosentan)
- water tablets (diuretics) such as eplerenone
- used to thin the blood such as warfarin
- used to lower cholesterol
- used to reduce blood lipid level such as simvastatin, fluvastatin.
The maximum dose is 600 mg.
Second time (or subsequent) treatment
If you have been treated with Rimactane before, your doctor will probably
start with a smaller dose.
If you take more Rimactane than you should
If you take more Rimactane than you should, tell a doctor or go to a
hospital casualty department straight away. Take the medicine pack with
you. This is so the doctor knows what you have taken. You may feel sick
(nausea), be sick (vomiting), have stomach pain, itching or a headache.
You may also feel tired, sleepy, dizzy or light-headed. Other signs of taking
too much includes swelling of the face, eyes or eyelids, slurring of speech,
difficulty breathing, fast heartbeat, uneven heartbeats, fits and heart attack.
If you forget to take Rimactane
If you forget to take a tablet you should take it as soon as you remember.
However, if this is within 2 hours of your next dose you should skip the
missed capsule and carry on taking the rest of your capsules as usual.
Mental health, epilepsy and motor neurone medicines
- for thought disorders known as ʻantipsychoticsʼ such as haloperidol
- to calm or reduce anxiety (hypnotics, anxiolytics)
- to help you sleep (barbiturates)
- used for epilepsy such as phenytoin
- used for depression such as amitriptyline and nortriptyline
- riluzole - used for motor neurone disease.
Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten tablet.
Medicines for infections and the immune system
- used for viral infections such as indinavir, efavirenz, amprenavir,
nelfinavir, atazanavir, lopinavir and neviparine
- used for fungal infections
- used for bacterial infections (antibiotics)
- used for lowering your immune system such as ciclosporin, sirolimus and
Taking Rimactane may affect the results of some blood tests. In particular,
tests for folate, vitamin B12 and liver function. If you are going to have a
blood test, it is important to tell your doctor that you are taking Rimactane.
If you stop taking Rimactane
Keep taking Rimactane until your doctor tells you to stop. Do not stop
taking Rimactane just because you feel better. If you stop, your infection
may get worse. If you have any further questions on the use of this product,
ask your doctor or pharmacist.
4. POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS
Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side-effects although not
everybody gets them.
Serious side effects:
If you have any of the following symptoms of a serious side effect
stop taking this medicine and tell your doctor immediately or go to the
casualty department at your nearest hospital:
- You get blistering, peeling, bleeding, scaling or fluid filled patches on any
part of your skin. This includes your lips, eyes, mouth, nose, genitals,
hands or feet. You may have a serious skin problem.
- Allergic reactions causing rashes, fever, difficulty breathing, swallowing
problem, wheezing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, throat, hands or
- Serious liver problems such as hepatitis or jaundice (yellowing of the
whites of the eyes and skin).
- Flu-like symptoms including chills, fever, headache, dizziness and bone
pains may be followed by bleeding into the skin, breathing difficulties,
asthma-like attacks, anaemia, shock and kidney failure.
Other side effects:
Common side effects – affect less than 1 out of 10 people
- flushing, itching with or without skin rash or eye irritation and redness
- loss of appetite (anorexia)
- stomach pains, feeling sick (nausea)
- gaseous distension and upset stomach
- headache, dizziness, unusual tiredness, weakness, drowsiness, lightheadedness
- hair loss
- Asymptomatic increase in liver enzymes.
Uncommon side effects – affect less than 1 out of 100 people
- urticarial (hives) and more serious hypersensitivity cutaneous reactions.
Rare side effects – affect less than 1 out of 1,000 people
- difficulty controlling movements, confusion
- kidney problems (sometimes with lower back pain, fever and rash)
- severe skin reactions, such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome, vasculitis,
exudative conjunctivitis and generalised hypersensitivity reactions, e.g.
exfoliative dermatitis, Lyell's syndrome and pemphigoid reactions
- blurred or loss of vision
- being sick (vomiting) or diarrhoea
- diarrhoea that is serious, lasts a long time or has blood in it with stomach
pain or fever (Pseudomembranous colitis)
- inflammation of the colon
- muscular weakness
- problems with the coordination of voluntary muscles (ataxia)
- mental confusion
- visual disturbances
- blood disorders (reduced platelet count)
- weight loss, night sweats and fever (eosinophilia)
- a painful rash of dark red spots under the skin which do not go away
when you press on them (purpura)
- brain haemorrhage (bleeding)
- disturbances in the menstrual cycle (in extreme cases absence of a
- worsening of Addison disease (failure of adrenal glands)
- worsening of porphyria (a type of blood disorder).
Very rare side effects – affect less than 1 out of 10,000 people
- blood disorders (low white blood cells).
You may notice a reddish colour in your urine, sweat, phlegm (sputum),
saliva or tears. This is quite common and you need not worry. However, the
red colour may permanently stain soft contact lenses. The red colour in
tears may last for some time after you have stopped taking the capsules.
Do not wear lenses until you are sure your tears are colourless.
- A blood test may show changes in the way the liver is working.
Reporting of side effects
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This
includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also
report any side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme at:
www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard. By reporting side effects you can help
provide more information on the safety of this medicine.
5. HOW TO STORE RIMACTANE
Keep out of the sight and reach of children.
Do not take Rimactane after the expiry date which is printed on the pack.
The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.
Store in the original container to protect from heat and moisture.
Do not store above 30oC.
If the capsules become discoloured or show any other signs of
deterioration, consult your pharmacist who will tell you what to do.
Return any unused capsules to your pharmacist.
Medicines should not be disposed of via wastewater or household waste.
Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medicines no longer required.
These measures will help protect the environment.
6. CONTENTS OF THE PACK AND OTHER INFORMATION
What Rimactane contains
The active substance in Rimactane is rifampicin.
Each capsule contains 300 mg rifampicin.
Other ingredients are: calcium stearate, lactose and black printing ink.
What Rimactane looks like and the contents of the pack
Rimactane capsules are opaque, hard gelatine capsules, reddish-brown in
colour, marked with ʻNG 300ʼ in black ink.
The capsules come in blister packs of 60 and 100.
Product Licence Holder and Manufacturer
Manufactured by Sandoz GmbH, Biochemiestr. 10, 6250 Kundl, Austria
and Procured from within the EU by Product Licence Holder
Star Pharmaceuticals Ltd., 5 Sandridge Close, Harrow, Middlesex
HA1 1XD. Repackaged by Servipharm Ltd.
Leaflet revision and issue date (Ref) 11.06.16
Rimactane is a trademark of Novartis AG.