Rifabutin is primarily used to prevent Mycobacterium avium complex infection in patients with HIV at an advanced stage.


What is Rifabutin?

Rifabutin is an antibacterial drug. It works by preventing or slowing the growth of certain bacteria. In turn, rifabutin prevents the synthesis of RNA. 


How should Rifabutin be taken?

Rifabutin is administered orally in the form of capsules. If necessary, the content of the capsules can be mixed in with food (for example: apple sauce). 


Side effects associated with Rifabutin

Rifabutin may cause changes in the color of urine, the color of feces, sweating, excessive saliva, tearing and skin rashes. In addition, it can color soft contact lenses permanently and reduce the body's ability to fight infections.


Among the other possible side effects of Rifabutin include the following:


  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea


It is important to contact a doctor immediately in the event that the use of Rifabutin triggers:


  • Rash
  • Urticaria
  • Itch
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tightness in chest
  • Swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue
  • Chest pain
  • Pain or swelling of the eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Fever, chills or sore throat
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dark urine
  • Pale stools
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach pain
  • Jaundice
  • bleeding or bruising
  • Muscle or joint pain/weakness
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Vision problems


Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Rifabutin

Rifabutin should not be taken if you have tuberculosis, if you are already taking delavirdine or if you are taking voriconazole. Its intake can reduce the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives.


Before starting treatment with Rifabutin, it is important to tell your doctor if:

  • You have any allergies to the active substance, its excipients, other drugs (particularly rifamycins) or any food
  • You are taking any other medications, herbal remedies or supplements. Mentioning in particular:  hormonal contraceptives, anticoagulants, cardiovascular drugs, HIV medicines, drugs, anticonvulsants, antidiabetics, multivitamins or hypericum
  • You are suffering (or have suffered) from kidney or liver problems
  • You are pregnant or breast-feeding