Consumer Medicine Information
What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some common questions about Rimycin.
It does not contain all of the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have benefits and risks. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you taking Rimycin against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet with your medicine. You may need to read it again.
What Rimycin is used for
Rimycin is used in combination with other medicines to treat:
tuberculosis (also known as TB), a bacterial infection affecting the lungs and other organs
leprosy, a bacterial infection affecting the skin and nerves.
Rimycin is used to prevent the following diseases occurring in people who have come in contact with others already infected:
meningococcal disease which can cause meningitis and septicaemia
Haemophilus influenza, a type of bacteria in the respiratory tract that can cause pneumonia, conjunctivitis and meningitis.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why Rimycin has been prescribed for you. Your doctor may have prescribed Rimycin for another reason.
Rimycin is an antibiotic that belongs to a group of medicines called rifamycins. These medicines work by killing bacteria that cause infections.
Rimycin is available only with a doctor's prescription.
There is no evidence that Rimycin is addictive.
Before you take Rimycin
When you must not take it
Do not take Rimycin if you are allergic to:
medicines containing rifampicin or any other rifamycin antibiotic
any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet.
Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include skin rash, itching or hives; swelling of the face, lips or tongue which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing, wheezing, shortness of breath.
Do not take Rimycin if you have jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin). There may be an increased risk of liver damage if you take Rimycin while you have jaundice.
Do not take Rimycin if the expiry date (EXP.) printed on the pack has passed.
Do not take Rimycin if the packaging shows signs of tampering or the capsules do not look quite right.
If you are not sure whether you should start taking this medicine, talk to your doctor.
Before you start to take it
Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any other medicines, foods, dyes or preservatives.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of taking Rimycin during pregnancy.
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or wish to breastfeed. As Rimycin passes into breast milk, breastfeeding is not recommended in women who are taking Rimycin. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of taking Rimycin when breastfeeding.
Tell your doctor if you have, or have had, any medical conditions, especially the following:
porphyria (a blood disorder)
adrenal gland problems.
Tell your doctor if you drink alcohol. Drinking alcohol regularly may keep Rimycin from working properly. It may also increase the risk of liver problems occurring. Your doctor may advise you to avoid alcohol while taking Rimycin.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you start taking Rimycin.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you buy without a prescription from a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Take Rimycin at least one hour before or one hour after taking antacids. This is to prevent antacids from interfering with the absorption of Rimycin.
Talk to your doctor about the need for additional contraception while taking Rimycin. Rimycin may decrease the effectiveness of some birth control pills.
The following medicines may also be affected by Rimycin or affect how well it works:
medicines used to prevent blood clots such as warfarin
medicines used to treat epilepsy such as phenytoin
digoxin, a medicine used to treat heart failure
medicines used to correct an irregular heat beat such as quinidine, disopyramide and mexiletine
medicines used to treat high blood pressure and heart conditions such as beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers
medicines used to treat diabetes
thyroxine, a medicine for low thyroid hormone levels
antipsychotic medicines for mental illness such as haloperidol
medicines used to treat depression such as amitriptyline and nortriptyline
corticosteroids such as prednisone and cortisone
medicines used for hormone replacement therapy such as oestrogen and progestin
medicines used to treat fungal infections such as fluconazole and ketaconazole
medicines used to prevent organ transplant rejection or to treat certain problems with the immune system, such as cyclosporin and tacrolimus
antibiotics such as doxycycline, clarithromycin and fluoroquinolones
theophylline, a medicine used to treat asthma and other lung conditions
medicines used in the treatment of patients with AIDS/HIV, such as zidovudine, saquinavir and atovaquone.
Your doctor can tell you what to do if you are taking any of these medicines.
If you are not sure whether you are taking any of these medicines, check with your doctor or pharmacist. Your doctor and pharmacist have more information on medicines to be careful with or avoid while taking Rimycin.
How to take Rimycin
Follow all directions given to you by your doctor and pharmacist carefully. They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.
If you do not understand the instructions on the bottle, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
How much to take
The dose varies from patient to patient. Your doctor will decide the right dose for you. This depends your condition and whether or not you are taking any other medicines.
How to take Rimycin
Swallow the capsules whole with a glass of water.
When to take Rimycin
Take Rimycin on an empty stomach, for example, half an hour before or two hours after food, unless advised by your doctor.
Take Rimycin at about the same time each day. Taking it at the same time each day will have the best effect. It will also help you remember when to take it.
If you forget to take Rimycin
If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take your next dose when you are meant to.
Otherwise, take the missed dose as soon as you remember, and then go back to taking your capsules as you would normally.
Do not take a double dose to make up for the dose you missed.
If you are not sure what to do or have any questions about this, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
How long to take Rimycin for
Keep taking Rimycin for as long as your doctor recommends.
Do not stop taking Rimycin, even if you feel better after a few days, unless advised by your doctor. Your infection may not clear completely if you stop taking your medicine too soon.
If you take too much Rimycin (overdose)
Immediately telephone your doctor, or the Poisons Information Centre (telephone 13 11 26), or go to Accident and Emergency at the nearest hospital, if you think you or anyone else may have taken too much Rimycin. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention.
If you take too much Rimycin, you may feel very tired, sick or vomit, have a headache, stomach pains or a fast or irregular heartbeat. Your skin may become reddish orange in colour. You may become unconscious.
While you are taking Rimycin
Things you must do
Before starting any new medicine, tell your doctor or pharmacist that you are taking Rimycin.
Tell all the doctors, dentists and pharmacists who are treating you that you are taking Rimycin.
If you become pregnant while taking Rimycin, tell your doctor.
If you plan to have surgery that needs a general anaesthetic, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking Rimycin.
If you develop itching with swelling or skin rash or difficulty breathing, or if you turn yellow while you are taking Rimycin do not take any more Rimycin and tell your doctor immediately.
If you get severe diarrhoea, tell your doctor or pharmacist immediately. Do this even if it occurs several weeks after you have stopped taking Rimycin.
Diarrhoea may mean that you have a serious condition affecting your bowel. You may need urgent medical care. Do not take any diarrhoea medicine without checking with your doctor.
It is important to take all doses of Rimycin as directed by your doctor. If you miss doses, side effects may occur more often and may be more serious than usual.
If you need to have any blood or urine tests, tell your doctor you are taking Rimycin. Rimycin may affect the results of some tests.
Visit your doctor regularly so that they can check on your progress. You may need to have regular tests to check your liver and kidneys.
Things you must not do
Do not stop taking Rimycin because you feel better. If you do not complete the full treatment prescribed by your doctor, some of the bacteria causing your infection may not be killed. These bacteria may continue to grow and multiply so that your infection may not clear completely or it may return.
Do not use Rimycin to treat any other conditions unless your doctor tells you to.
Do not give Rimycin to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.
Things to be careful of
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how Rimycin affects you. Rimycin may cause blurred vision, dizziness or incoordination in some people. If any of these occur, do not drive, operate machinery or do anything else that could be dangerous.
Be careful when drinking alcohol while taking Rimycin. Your doctor may advise you to avoid alcohol while taking Rimycin. Drinking alcohol regularly may keep Rimycin from working properly. It may also increase the risk of liver problems occurring.
Be aware that your sweat, tears, urine, saliva, sputum and stools may be coloured reddish orange while you are taking Rimycin. Talk to your doctor if you are worried by this.
Rimycin may also stain soft contact lenses permanently.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking Rimycin. Like all other medicines, Rimycin may have unwanted side effects in some people. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
If any of the following happen, stop taking Rimycin and tell your doctor immediately, or go to Accident and Emergency at the nearest hospital:
skin rash, itching, hives or severe blisters, peeling or bleeding of the skin
swelling of the face, lips, mouth or throat which may cause difficulty swallowing or breathing
shortness of breath and wheezing
signs of shock such as big pupils, cold, sweaty, pale skin and a weak, rapid heart beat.
The above list includes rare but very serious side effects which require urgent medical attention or hospitalisation.
Tell your doctor immediately or go to Accident and Emergency at the nearest hospital if you notice any of the following:
watery and severe diarrhoea, which may also be bloody
severe stomach cramps
yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice)
bruising or bleeding more easily than normal
no or very little amounts of urine
bloody or cloudy urine
flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, headache, dizziness and bone pain.
The above list includes serious side effects which require medical attention. Serious side effects are rare.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
loss of appetite, vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhoea
headache, tiredness, dizziness
confusion, poor concentration, poor coordination, blurred vision
numbness or pains in the hands and feet
irregular menstrual periods.
The above list includes the more mild side effects of Rimycin.
After you have finished taking Rimycin
Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following, even if they occur several weeks after stopping treatment with Rimycin:
watery and severe diarrhoea, which may also be bloody
severe stomach or gut cramps.
Tell your doctor if you notice anything that is making you feel unwell. Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients.
After taking Rimycin
Keep Rimycin where children cannot reach it. A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
Keep your capsules in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 30°C.
Do not store Rimycin or any other medicine in the bathroom or near a sink.
Do not leave Rimycin in the car or on window sills. Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
If your doctor tells you to stop taking Rimycin, or your capsules have passed their expiry date, ask your pharmacist what to do with any that are left over.
What it looks like
Rimycin comes in 2 strengths of capsules:
Rimycin 150 - black and maroon capsule
Rimycin 300 - maroon capsule.
Rimycin comes in bottles of 10 and 100 capsules.
The active ingredient in Rimycin is rifampicin:
each Rimycin 150 capsule contains 150 mg of rifampicin
each Rimycin 300 capsule contains 300 mg of rifampicin.
The capsules also contain the following inactive ingredients:
colloidal anhydrous silica
sodium lauryl sulfate
erythrosine CI 45430 (127)
brilliant blue FCF CI 42090 (133)
titanium dioxide CI 77891 (171).
Rimycin 150 capsules also contain:
iron oxide red CI 77491 (172)
iron oxide yellow CI 77492 (172).
The capsules are gluten free.
Rimycin is made in Australia by:
Alphapharm Pty Limited
(ABN 93 002 359 739)
Chase Building 2
Wentworth Park Road
Glebe NSW 2037
Phone: (02) 9298 3999
Phone: 1800 028 365
Australian registration numbers:
Rimycin 150 - AUST R 48230
Rimycin 300 - AUST R 48231
This leaflet was prepared on
25 March 2002.