Generic Name: Rifampin, isoniazid, and pyrizinamide

  • What is Rifater?

    Rifater is a combination of the 3 drugs: rifampin, isoniazid, and pyrazinamide. It is an antibiotic used to treat the beginning phase of tuberculosis. After a 2-month period, your doctor may prescribe another combination of antituberculosis drugs, which may be continued for longer periods.
  • What is the most important information I should know about Rifater?

    Isoniazid, one of the components of Rifater, may cause liver damage. Contact your doctor immediately if you develop yellowing of the eyes or skin, fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting. Rifater may cause your urine, sputum, sweat, and tears to turn a red-orange color. This is not harmful. The drug may also permanently discolor contact lenses. Since Rifater may cause eye problems, you should have a complete eye examination before starting therapy and periodically during Rifater treatment.
  • Who should not take Rifater?

    Do not take Rifater if you have ever had an allergic reaction to or are sensitive to any of the ingredients in this product; if you have serious liver disease; or if you have ever had a severe side effect from isoniazid (such as fever, chills, and arthritis). Also avoid Rifater if you have had acute and painful joint swelling, including gout.
  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Rifater?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Rifater. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you ever had an allergic reaction to medications, kidney disease, liver disease, porphyria, gout, or diabetes.
  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults: Take once a day, as follows: If you weigh ≤97 pounds: 4 tablets; if you weigh 98 to 120 pounds: 5 tablets; if you weigh ≥121 pounds: 6 tablets

    Safety and effectiveness in children under the age of 15 have not been established.

  • How should I take Rifater?

    Take Rifater exactly as prescribed. Do not stop without consulting your doctor. It is important to take all of the drug prescribed for you, even if you feel better, and not to miss any doses.

    Take Rifater on an empty stomach, either 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal, with a full glass of water. Wait at least 1 hour before taking an antacid, as antacids may interfere with the drug.

    If needed, your doctor may suggest taking vitamin B6 while you are on Rifater therapy.

  • What should I avoid while taking Rifater?

    Limit the amount of alcohol you drink while on this medicine. Daily alcohol intake may increase the risk for liver problems in certain individuals.
  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Rifater?

    If Rifater is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Rifater with the following: antacids, anticonvulsants, barbiturates, blood pressure medicines, blood thinners, chloramphenicol, ciprofloxacin, clofibrate, cotrimoxazole, cycloserinem, cyclosporine, dapsone, diabetes medications, disulfiram, fluconazole, haloperidol, heart medications, itraconazole, ketoconazole, levodopa, narcotic analgesics, nortriptyline, probenecid, progestins, steroid drugs, sulfasalazine, theophylline, tranquilizers

    Foods such as cheese, fish, and red wine may cause reactions if you are taking a medicine containing isoniazid. Call your doctor immediately if you experience a fast or fluttery heartbeat, flushing, sweating, headache, or light-headedness while you are taking Rifater.

  • What are the possible side effects of Rifater?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: angina (chest pain), anxiety, bone pain, chest tightness, cough, coughing up blood, diabetic coma, diarrhea, difficult breathing, digestive pain, fast, fluttery heartbeat, headache, hepatitis, hives, itching, joint pain, nausea, numbness or tingling of the legs, rash, reddened skin, skin peeling or flaking, sleeplessness, sweating, swelling of the legs, vomiting, yellowing of skin and eyes

    When rifampin, one of the drugs in Rifater, is taken at high doses (more than 600 milligrams) once or twice a week, it is likely that side effects may increase, including "flu-like" symptoms such as fever, chills, fatigue, weakness, upset stomach, and shortness of breath. Notify your doctor if you experience these symptoms.

  • Can I receive Rifater if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, tell your doctor immediately. You may need to discontinue the drug. If needed for preventive treatment, Rifater should be started after delivery. An ingredient in Rifater may cause uncontrollable bleeding after birth in the mother and baby when given during the last few weeks of pregnancy.

    Rifater can pass into breast milk and may affect the nursing infant. Your doctor may recommend that you stop breastfeeding until your treatment with Rifater is finished.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Rifater?

    Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take 2 doses at once.
  • How should I store Rifater?

    Store Rifater at room temperature. Protect from moisture.