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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Mycobutin

Generic Name: rifabutin (Pronunciation: RIF a BUE tin)

What is rifabutin (Mycobutin)?

Rifabutin is an antibiotic. It prevents bacteria from multiplying in your body.

Rifabutin is used to prevent mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) in people with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection. Rifabutin is also used with other medications to treat tuberculosis in people with HIV.

Rifabutin is often given together with other antibiotics.

Rifabutin may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of rifabutin (Mycobutin)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • severe skin rash or itching;
  • pale skin, weakness, easy bruising or bleeding;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms; or
  • eye pain or redness, vision loss.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • red, orange, or brown discoloration of your skin, tears, sweat, saliva, urine, or stools;
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
  • stomach pain;
  • belching, bloating, loss of appetite;
  • headache; or
  • mild skin rash or itching.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about rifabutin (Mycobutin)?

You should not take this medication if you are allergic to rifabutin, rifapentine (Priftin), or rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rimactane, Rifamate).

Rifabutin should not be used without other antibiotics to prevent mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) infection in people with active tuberculosis. The tuberculosis may become resistant to treatment if rifabutin is used as a single medication. Be sure to take all your medications as prescribed by your doctor.

Take this medication for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Rifabutin will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.

Rifabutin can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about using a non-hormone method of birth control (such as a condom, diaphragm, spermicide) to prevent pregnancy while taking rifabutin.

Do not wear dentures or contact lenses while taking rifabutin. This medicine may discolor certain body fluids (including tears and saliva) with a red, orange, or brown color. While this is a harmless side effect, it may permanently stain dentures or contact lenses.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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