Brands, Medical Use, Clinical Data
- Anti-bacterial Agents
- Antituberculosis Agents
Brands / Synonyms
Alfacid; Ansamycin; Ansatipin; Ansatipine; Antibiotic LM 427; Mycobutin; RBT; Rifabutina [Spanish]; Rifabutine [French]; Rifabutinum [Latin]
For the prevention of disseminated Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) disease in patients with advanced HIV infection.
Rifabutin is an antibiotic that inhibits DNA-dependent RNA polymerase activity in susceptible cells. Specifically, it interacts with bacterial RNA polymerase but does not inhibit the mammalian enzyme. It is bactericidal and has a very broad spectrum of activity against most gram-positive and gram-negative organisms (including Pseudomonas aeruginosa) and specifically Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Because of rapid emergence of resistant bacteria, use is restricted to treatment of mycobacterial infections and a few other indications. Rifabutin is well absorbed when taken orally and is distributed widely in body tissues and fluids, including the CSF. It is metabolized in the liver and eliminated in bile and, to a much lesser extent, in urine, but dose adjustments are unnecessary with renal insufficiency.
Mechanism of Action
Rifabutin acts via the inhibition of DNA-dependent RNA polymerase, leading to a suppression of RNA synthesis and cell death.
Rifabutin is readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, with an absolute bioavailability averaging 20%.
LD50 = 4.8 g/kg (mouse, male)
Biotrnasformation / Drug Metabolism
Hepatic. Of the five metabolites that have been identified, 25-O-desacetyl and 31-hydroxy are the most predominant. The former metabolite has an activity equal to the parent drug and contributes up to 10% to the total antimicrobial activity.
MYCOBUTIN Capsules are contraindicated in patients who have had clinically significant hypersensitivity to
rifabutin or to any other rifamycins.
Effects on Other Drugs: Rifabutin induces CYP3A enzymes and therefore may reduce the plasma
concentrations of drugs metabolized by those enzymes. This effect may reduce the efficacy of standard doses of such
drugs, which include itraconazole, clarithromycin, and saquinavir.
Effects on Rifabutin: Some drugs that inhibit CYP3A may significantly increase the plasma
concentration of rifabutin. Because high plasma levels of rifabutin may increase the risk of adverse reactions,
carefully monitor patients receiving coadministration of such drugs, which include fluconazole and clarithromycin. In
some cases, the dosage of MYCOBUTIN may need to be reduced when it is coadministered with such a drug.
Delavirdine: Coadministration of rifabutin and delavirdine is not recommended because rifabutin
substantially decreases the plasma concentrations of delavirdine, and delavirdine increases the plasma concentrations
Indinavir: Coadministration of indinavir and rifabutin increases the plasma concentration of
rifabutin. In patients receiving coadministration of indinavir, reduce the dosage of MYCOBUTIN by half.
Nelfinavir: Coadministration of nelfinavir increases the plasma concentration of rifabutin. In
patients receiving nelfinavir, reduce the dosage of MYCOBUTIN by half.
Ritonavir: Coadministration of ritonavir is not recommended because it substantially increases
the plasma concentration of rifabutin. High plasma concentrations of rifabutin may increase the risk of adverse
reactions, including uveitis.
Oral contraceptives: Rifabutin may decrease the efficacy of oral contraceptives by inducing drug
metabolism of ethinylestradiol and norethindrone. Women using oral contraceptives should be advised to change to or
supplement with nonhormonal methods of birth control during treatment with MYCOBUTIN.
Other drugs: The structurally similar drug, rifampin, is known to reduce the plasma
concentrations of a number of other drugs. Although rifabutin is a weaker enzyme inducer than rifampin, it may be
expected to have some effect on those drugs as well.