What Do You Take Rifampin For?

Many people are aware that rifampin (Rifadin®) is a type of antibiotic. But what is rifampin taken for, specifically?
This prescription drug is approved for use in combination with other medications to treat tuberculosis. Rifampin is also licensed for people who have a certain type of bacteria (called Neisseria meningitides) in their nose and throat but do not have symptoms of a meningococcal infection.
As part of a group of medications called rifamycins, rifampin works to kill certain bacteria by blocking the action of an enzyme the bacteria need to survive. It is approved for use in adults and children -- even those who are less than one month of age.
There are also some off-label (unapproved) uses for rifampin, such as treating leprosy, brucellosis, and cholestatic pruritus.
(Click What Is Rifampin Used For? for a closer look at what the drug is used for and who can take it.)
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