Antibiotics Home > Rifadin

Rifadin is an antibiotic used to treat tuberculosis and Neisseria meningitides. It comes as a capsule or an injection, and works to kill bacteria by blocking certain enzymes that allow the bacteria to grow. Although most people tolerate this medicine well, side effects are possible and may include heartburn, drowsiness, and headaches.


What Is Rifadin?

Rifadin® (rifampin) is a prescription antibiotic that comes in oral (taken by mouth) and injectable forms.
Oral Rifadin is approved for the following uses:
  • To treat tuberculosis, usually along with other tuberculosis medications
  • To get rid of a bacteria known as Neisseria meningitides (the bacteria that causes meningococcal infections, such as meningitis) in people who have this bacteria in their nose and throat but do not have symptoms of a meningococcal infection.
Injectable Rifadin is used to treat tuberculosis when the medication cannot be taken by mouth.
(Click Rifadin Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes This Medication?

Rifadin is made by sanofi-aventis U.S., LLC.

How Does Rifadin Work?

Rifadin works by blocking the action of an enzyme known as RNA polymerase. Bacteria need RNA polymerase to make RNA, a molecule that is important for transferring the bacteria's genetic information and making proteins. These actions are essential for the bacteria to survive. By blocking RNA polymerase, Rifadin kills the bacteria.
Rifadin specifically blocks bacterial RNA polymerase. It does not affect human RNA polymerase and, therefore, does not interfere with the production of RNA in humans.  
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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