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Patients should be counseled that antibacterial drugs including rifampin should only be used to treat bacterial infections. They do not treat viral infections (e.g., the common cold). When rifampin is prescribed to treat a bacterial infection, patients should be told that although it is common to feel better early in the course of therapy, the medication should be taken exactly as directed. Skipping doses or not completing the full course of therapy may (1) decrease the effectiveness of the immediate treatment and (2) increase the likelihood that bacteria will develop resistance and will not be treatable by rifampin or other antibacterial drugs in the future.
The patient should be told that rifampin may produce a reddish coloration of the urine, sweat, sputum, and tears, and the patient should be forewarned of this. Soft contact lenses may be permanently stained.
The patient should be advised that the reliability of oral or other systemic hormonal contraceptives may be affected; consideration should be given to using alternative contraceptive measures.
Patients should be instructed to take rifampin either 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal with a full glass of water.
Patients should be instructed to notify their physicians promptly if they experience any of the following: fever, loss of appetite, malaise, nausea and vomiting, darkened urine, yellowish discoloration of the skin and eyes, and pain or swelling of the joints.
Compliance with the full course of therapy must be emphasized, and the importance of not missing any doses must be stressed.
Last reviewed on RxList: 3/18/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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