Rifampicin (Rifampin) is an antibiotic in the Rifamycin family. It is an important component of the combination antibiotic therapy used to treat tuberculosis. Rifampicin is used to treat several types of infections, particularly those that are caused by anaerobic gram-positive bacteria, which is a group of bacteria that includes the acne-causing Propionibacterium acnes bacterium.
Rifampicin is occasionally used to treat certain types of severe acne. Laboratory testing indicates that P. acnes bacteria are very sensitive to Rifamycin family antibiotics, including Rifampicin. There is also some clinical research that suggests Rifampicin can be helpful for patients with moderate to severe acne symptoms.
Rifampicin and other Rifamycin family antibiotics may be useful components of comprehensive treatment regimens for people with severe acne symptoms. Additional clinical research and patient reports are needed to evaluate the utility of this family of antibiotics for the treatment of acne.
Rifampicin can inhibit the activity of hormonal birth control. Sexually active women of child-bearing age should take additional precautions to prevent pregnancy while taking this medication. Rifampicin is very inexpensive in many parts of the world, but the monthly cost can be quite high in certain countries (eg. United States).