Rifampin, also called rifampicin, is a bactericidal antibiotic commonly used in the treatment of active tuberculosis. It is never used as monotherapy due to high resistance rates but is used with isoniazid, ethambutol, and pyrazinamide.
The mechanism of action of rifampin is to block bacterial RNA polymerization.
Besides tuberculosis, rifampin can be used in to treat infection by Haemophilus influenza.
Leprosy, also called Hansen's disease, is a mycobacterium. Therefore, rifampin can also be used in the treatment of leprosy. Rifampin is used in combination with dapsone and clofazimine for standard treatment of Hansen's disease.
Rifampin can be used in prophylactic therapy against meningococcal infection.
Rifampin is a well known P450 inducer and can increase the rate of metabolism of other drugs that are cleared by the liver through the p450 system.
Taking rifampin can cause bodily fluids like urine and tears to become orange red in color, which may be alarming but is completely benign.
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