Rifapentine :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

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Rifapentine (RIF uh PEN teen) is the generic name for Priftin®.

This medicine is used to treat latent tuberculosis infection, or latent TBI. This is when the TB germ is in your body, but it is not causing an infection. If latent TB is not treated, it can become an active infection that needs many antibiotics for a long period of time - at least 6 months. Rifapentine will always be used with another medicine, isoniazid (INH), to treat latent TB.


  • If your child is allergic to rifapentine, he or she should not take this medicine.
  • If a patient thinks she might be pregnant, she should tell the doctor before she begins taking this or any medicine.
  • If a patient is breast-feeding her baby, she should tell her doctor before she begins taking this or any medicine.

How to Take This Medicine

  • Patients will come to the TB clinic once a week for 3 months to get the doses of rifapentine and INH.
  • The dose is based on your child’s weight.
  • A nurse will watch your child take all of the medicine and see if there are any problems.
  • Patients must be at least 12 years old to take this medicine.
  • Eat or drink non-dairy food or drink before taking the medicine. This will help prevent stomach upset.

Drug – Nutrient Interactions

Rifapentine can interact with many medicines. Tell your child’s doctor, pharmacist, or nurse about all medicines your child takes:

  • Prescription medicines
  • Herbal or natural medicines
  • Over-the-counter, including vitamins
  • Let your child’s doctor know if your child takes medicines for diabetes, seizures, heart problems, HIV, depression, or to thin the blood.
  • Rifapentine may make birth control pills not work. To avoid pregnancy, women should use other forms of birth control (condom, diaphragm, or both).
  • If your child takes an antacid, he or she should not take the antacid for 3 months while taking rifapentine. Antacids may cause the medicine to not work to treat the TB germ.
  • Your child should not eat or drink dairy products 1 hour before taking rifapentine or 2 hours after taking rifapentine. Dairy products prevent the medicine from being absorbed and treating latent TB.
  • Your child should not drink alcohol.
  • Don’t give over-the-counter medicines (such as acetaminophen, aspirin, antacids, or cold medicines) without checking with your child’s doctor or pharmacist first.

Possible Side Effects

  • Orange-red color of tears, saliva, sweat, urine, stool (this is normal). Do not wear contact lenses while on this treatment because they may become stained.
  • Upset stomach
  • Decreased appetite

What To Do About Side Effects

If a skin rash occurs, stop giving the medicine and call your child's doctor.

When To Call For Emergency Help

Call for emergency help if your child has any of these signs of an allergic reaction:

  • Trouble breathing,
  • Swelling of the tongue
  • Swelling of hands, feet, or ankles

When to Call The Doctor

Call your child's doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • Your child is having any side effects that continue or are very bothersome.
  • Skin rash, hives, or itching
  • Loss of appetite
  • Upset stomach or vomiting
  • Upper belly pain or heartburn
  • Sore muscles or joints
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Fevers or chills
  • Lots of diarrhea or blood in the stool
  • Light-colored stool
  • Dark urine
  • Yellow eyes or skin
  • Bruises easily, bleeding when brushing the teeth, nosebleeds
  • Pain or tingling of the arms, hands, or legs
  • Pregnancy

Preventive Measures

  • Blood counts may be done before the first dose is given and from time to time during treatment.
  • Your child may need to take a vitamin every day.
  • Ask your nurse for the Helping Hand: HH–V-153 Isoniazid (INH), HH-I-209 Tuberculosis (TB), HH-V-155 Tuberculosis (TB) Medicines

Other Advice about The Medicine

  • Tell your child's doctor and pharmacist if your child has a strange or allergic reaction to any medicine.
  • Bring all your child's medicines with you in the original bottles whenever your child sees a doctor, goes to an emergency room, or is admitted to the hospital.
  • When your child goes to the dentist, be sure to tell the dentist that your child is taking this medicine and why.
  • Tell your child's teacher, school nurse, coach, babysitter, and others that your child is taking this medicine and what side effects to watch for.

If you have any questions, be sure to ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.


HH-V-254 5/14 Copyright 2014, Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000