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Rifampicin

Brand names: Eremfat®, Rifa® and many more
German: Rifampicin

1 Definition

Rifampicin is a highly effective antibiotic agent from the family of Streptomyces mediterannei bacteria and it belongs to the Ansamycin group. It blocks the transcription activity of bacteria by inhibiting their DNA dependent RNA polymerase.

2 Application

Rifampicin is, with the exception in case of tuberculosis treatment, not considered as a standard antibiotic. In many cases it serves as a reserve antibiotic agent, when other antibiotics are not sensitive anymore because of resistances.

When used in treatment of tuberculosis, Rifampicin is regarded as a strong anti-tuberculosis drug. It is also effective against resting mycobacteria and other forms of persistence, and is therefore acting primarily in a bactericidal way.

Rifampicin can also be used prophylactically for (non-pregnant) persons of contact to meningococcal meningitis. In that case Rifampicin is the drug of choice for children, for adults Ciprofloxacin is used more commonly and for pregnant women Ceftriaxon.

3 Pathogen spectrum

In addition to its effect on mycobacteria, Rifampicin has a good to very good effect against many gram-positive pathogens, but also as well against gram-negative and atypical bacteria, such as:

4 Side effects

A further possible, but harmless side effect can be observed such as the red-orange coloring of bodily secretions, i.e. urin. The patient should be made aware of these.

5 Contraindications

Cave: Induction of cytochrom P450

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