Rifater® tablets   

This product is manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis Canada Inc. and is a combination of 3 ingredients, isoniazid, pyrazinamide, and rifampin.

This product is taken orally.


Why is it prescribed?

Rifater® tablets are used in the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis.

Because Rifater® tablets contain rifampin, it may produce a reddish coloration of the urine, sweat, sputum and tears. Soft contact lenses may be permanently stained.
Because Rifater® tablets contain isoniazid, it may interact with food containing tyramine (for example some cheeses and wines). These foods should be avoided. Isoniazid also interacts with foods containing histamine (for example slipjack, tuna and other tropical fish). These foods should also be avoided. 
It is very important to not miss any doses of Rifater® tablets for the full course of therapy.  Symptoms may get better before the infection has totally cleared up.

Take on an empty stomach, 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals.  Take with a full glass of water.

Store at room temperature away from heat and moisture.

Avoid alcohol as it may increase the risk or liver damage.


See other products used in the treatment of •tuberculosis •

Rifater® tablets are given as a single daily dose either 1 hour before or two hours after a meal with a full glass of water.
Dosing is based on weight. For those patients weighing 44 kg or less the usual dose is 4 tablets once daily. For those patients weighing between 45-54 kg the usual dose is 5 tablets once daily. For those patients weighing 55 kg or greater the usual dose is 6 tablets once daily.
Rifater® is recommended in the initial phase of short-course therapy which is usually continued for 2 months.
The ratio of the drugs in Rifater® tablets may not be appropriate in children as higher mg/kg doses of isoniazid are usually given in children than adults, therefore, it is not recommended for treatment in children.

Rifater® contains 3 antibiotics: isoniazid, pyrazinamide and rifampin.  All 3 are active against tuberculous bacteria.

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

Rifater® can cause severe liver symptoms. Stop taking this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any of these liver symptoms:

  • low fever;
  • nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite;
  • dark urine, clay-colored stools; or
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Call your doctor at once if you have any other serious side effects such as:

  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, weakness, sores in your mouth and throat;
  • pale skin, easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
  • feeling short of breath, feeling like you might pass out;
  • cough, chest pain or tightness;
  • diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
  • vision problems;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all; or
  • drowsiness, mood changes, increased thirst, swelling, weight gain.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild stomach pain, heartburn, diarrhea;
  • mild rash or itching;
  • muscle or joint pain;
  • drowsiness, dizziness, spinning sensation;
  • ringing in your ears; or
  • numbness or tingling in your legs.

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to isoniazid, pyrazinamide, or rifampin, or if you have:

  • severe liver disease;
  • active gout
  • had drug fever, chills, and arthritis caused by taking this medication.

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use isoniazid, pyrazinamide, and rifampin:

  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • HIV
  • porphyria
  • gout
  • diabetes

Drug interactions: Many drugs can interact with isoniazid, pyrazinamide, and rifampin. Tell your doctor if you are using:

  • cyclosporine
  • haloperidol 
  • nortriptyline 
  • theophylline 
  • antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), clarithromycin (Biaxin), dapsone, erythromycin 
  • antifungal medications such as fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral)
  • phenobarbital 
  • birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy;
  • warfarin (Coumadin);
  • diabetes medications you take by mouth
  • heart or blood pressure medication such as atenolol (Tenormin, Tenoretic), carvedilol (Coreg), digoxin (Lanoxin), diltiazem (Cardizem), metoprolol, propranolol (Inderal), nifedipine, verapamil (Isoptin)
  • heart rhythm medication such as disopyramide (Norpace), mexiletine (Mexitil), quinidine 
  • seizure medication such as carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenytoin (Dilantin), primidone (Mysoline), valproic acid (Depakene)
  • a steroid such as prednisolone
  • a sulfa drug (Bactrim, Septra, SMX-TMP).

Use in pregnancy and breastfeeding:  Must weigh potential risk against benefit.  Discuss use with your doctor or pharmacist.


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Page Last Updated: 05/10/2016