|Type of medicine||Antibiotic and antituberculosis medicine|
|Used for||To treat tuberculosis affecting the lungs, and other similar infections
To prevent infections caused by mycobacteria in people with low immunity
Rifabutin is an antibiotic used to treat infections, including tuberculosis (TB). It is usually prescribed as one of a number of medicines to treat the infection. You may have been prescribed it for this reason. Alternatively, if you are at risk of infection because you have a lowered immunity, you may have been prescribed it to protect you from a serious infection caused by germs called mycobacteria. Rifabutin works by stopping bacteria from growing and multiplying.
Before taking rifabutin
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking rifabutin it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you have any problems with your liver or kidneys.
- If you have porphyria. (This is a rare inherited blood disorder.)
- If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
How to take rifabutin
- Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The leaflet will give you more information about rifabutin and a full list of side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
- There are several ways rifabutin may be prescribed for you depending upon the reason why you are taking it. Your doctor will tell you which way is right for you. It is very important you take rifabutin exactly as you have been told. Your dose will also be on the label of the pack to remind you.
- To prevent infections, you will be asked to take two capsules every day.
- To treat TB you will be asked to take 1-3 capsules every day.
- To treat an infection (other than TB) you will be asked to take 3 or 4 capsules every day.
- You can take rifabutin at whatever time of day you find easiest to remember, but try to take your doses at the same time each day. This will help you to avoid missing any doses. You can take the capsules before or after your meals.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the following day, skip the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
- You must complete the course of rifabutin (unless your doctor tells you otherwise) or your infection may come back. A course of treatment will last several months. If you are taking rifabutin to prevent infection, you are likely to need to continue to take it long-term.
Getting the most from your treatment
- It is important you keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress. Your doctor may want you to have some blood tests from time to time during this treatment. The tests will check your blood cell counts and that your liver is working properly.
- This medicine may cause your urine and sweat to turn an orange-reddish colour. This is harmless and nothing for you to worry about.
- If you wear soft contact lenses, rifabutin may cause your lenses to become discoloured. If this affects you, speak with your doctor or optician about this, as you may be advised to wear glasses instead.
- Make sure you have discussed with your doctor which types of contraception are suitable for you and your partner. The contraceptive effect of 'the pill', 'mini pill', contraceptive patches and vaginal rings is reduced by rifabutin and so these on their own are not suitable types of contraception.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable for you to take. This is because rifabutin can interfere with some medicines and stop them from working properly.
- This antibiotic may stop the oral typhoid vaccine from working. If you are having any vaccinations, make sure the person treating you knows that you are taking this medicine. Also, if you are having an operation or dental treatment, you should tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking rifabutin.
Can rifabutin cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common rifabutin side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicine||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Feeling or being sick||Stick to simple or bland meals (avoid rich and spicy foods)|
|Muscle and joint pain, fever, and rash||If any of these become troublesome, speak with your doctor|
Important: if you get severe diarrhoea, or develop jaundice (yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes), you should speak with a doctor straightaway. These are rare but serious side-effects that you must tell your doctor about.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store rifabutin
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 63rd Edition (Mar 2012) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
- Manufacturer's PIL, Mycobutin®; Pfizer Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated March 2012.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Dr Helen Huins|
|Last Checked: 26/09/2012||Document ID: 3639 Version: 24||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.