Papers And Originals

Sensitivity to Rifampicin: Incidence, Mechanism, and Prevention

Br Med J 1974; 2 doi: (Published 25 May 1974) Cite this as: Br Med J 1974;2:415
  1. Jean-Claude Pujet,
  2. Jean-Claude Homberg,
  3. Guy Decroix


    Five out of 200 patients taking rifampicin 900 mg twice weekly and three out of 91 patients taking rifampicin who attended an immunology clinic developed intolerance to the drug. Antibodies to rifampicin, which were found in most cases, decreased steadily after the end of treatment but were detectable for up to 16 months. The dose of rifampicin and the blood levels are predominating factors in the occurrence of reactions. Thus the dose should be reduced in patients in whom rifampicin blood levels rise abnormally. When it is important to continue rifampicin treatment despite intolerance antibody titres within 24 hours after administration of the drug must be measured to find when they are lowest, which determines the “unreactive period,” and when a further dose may be safely given.