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Frequently Asked Questions
You should not use rifabutin if you have active tuberculosis, or if you are also taking delavirdine or voriconazole.
Rifabutin is an antibiotic that fights bacteria.
Rifabutin is used to prevent mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) in people with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection.
Rifabutin is also used with other medicines to treat tuberculosis in people with HIV.
Rifabutin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use rifabutin if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
- active tuberculosis; or
- if you are allergic to rifapentine or rifampin.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had tuberculosis, if anyone in your household has tuberculosis, or if you have recently traveled to an area where tuberculosis is common.
Some medicines can interact with rifabutin and should not be used at the same time. Your doctor may need to change your treatment plan if you take:
- delavirdine; or
To make sure rifabutin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- kidney disease;
- liver disease; or
- a history of an eye condition called uveitis.
This medicine is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Rifabutin can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about using non hormonal birth control (condom, diaphragm with spermicide) to prevent pregnancy.
It is not known whether rifabutin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Rifabutin may be taken with food if it upsets your stomach.
If you develop signs of tuberculosis while taking rifabutin, you should be treated with tuberculosis medications right away. Taking only rifabutin while you have active tuberculosis could make the infection resistant to antibiotics. Call your doctor if you have any signs of tuberculosis: fever, cough, night sweats, loss of appetite, weight loss, and feeling constantly tired.
While using rifabutin, you may need frequent blood tests and chest x-rays.
Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Rifabutin will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Avoid wearing dentures or contact lenses. Rifabutin may cause certain body fluids to turn red, orange, or brown. This includes tears and saliva. Although this is a harmless side effect, discolored tears or saliva could permanently stain your contact lenses or dentures.
Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- severe stomach pain, diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
- severe eye redness, small white or yellow patches on the surface of your eye; or
- low white blood cell counts--fever, swollen gums, painful mouth sores, pain when swallowing, skin sores, cold or flu symptoms, cough, trouble breathing;
Common side effects may include:
- red, orange, or brown discoloration of your skin, tears, sweat, saliva, urine, or stools;
- gas, burping, upset stomach;
- rash; or
- muscle pain.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Many drugs can interact with rifabutin. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:
- certain antibiotics--clarithromycin, erythromycin, telithromycin;
- antifungal medicine--fluconazole, itraconazole, posaconazole;
- hepatitis C medicine--boceprevir, simeprevir, telaprevir; or
- HIV or AIDS medicine--fosamprenavir, indinavir, lopinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, zidovudine.
This list is not complete and many other drugs can interact with rifabutin. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Give a list of all your medicines to any healthcare provider who treats you.
Your pharmacist can provide more information about rifabutin.
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