1 What is Mycobutin?

Brand: Mycobutin

Generic: Rifabutin

Mycobutin is a prescription drug used in preventing Mycobacterium avium complex or MAC disease from causing complications in patients with HIV or human immunodeficiency virus infection.

MAC is a bacterial infection caused by Mycobacterium avium and Mycobacterium intracellular, two similar bacteria that is common in HIV patients. MAC can also affect non-HIV patients but with compromised immune systems.

Patients with HIV may show MAC symptoms as:

Rifabutin is a powerful antibiotic that works by killing or preventing the growth of certain bacteria, including the bacteria that cause MAC disease. This drug will not work against viruses.

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2 What to Know Before Using

If you are about to start Mycobutin, speak with your doctor about what you need to know. The risks and benefits the medicine offer must be weighed.

Before using this, you and your doctor must consider the following:


If you have any unusual reaction to any medicine, be sure to tell your doctor about it. Additionally, disclose other types of allergies - food, preservatives, animals, or dyes, if there are any. Read the package ingredients carefully and make sure you are not allergic to any of its ingredients.


There are no appropriate studies done to establish safety and efficacy of rifabutin use in children.


Studies show that old age would not limit the usefulness of this drug. Nonetheless, the use of rifabutin in the elderly must be done with utmost care, since elderly patients are more prone to age-related problems, such as liver, heart, and kidney diseases. Dose adjustment and caution may be required.


Studies done where rifabutin is administered in animals do not show evidence of harm to the fetus. However, no adequate studies done in pregnant women are available.


Although there are no adequate studies in lactating mothers that determine potential risk in an infant when breastfeeding, the benefits should be weighed against the risks before taking this medication.

Drug Interactions

Certain medicines have adverse effects when used together. Nevertheless, it is still possible to take other medicines when taking rifabutin. Make sure to inform your doctor about other drugs you are taking, so that alterations and precautions will be made if necessary.

Using this medicine with certain medicines, such as:

  • Artemether
  • Delamanid
  • Lumefantrine
  • Isavuconazonium Sulfate
  • Maraviroc
  • Lurasidone
  • Ranolazine
  • Voriconazole

needs utmost caution because the combination may result in certain side effects. Before taking this drug, talk to your doctor about possible interactions if you are taking other medications, both prescription and over-the-counter.

Other medical problems

How you use this medicine may be affected if you have other existing or history of certain medical problems. Inform your doctor if you have myositis, diarrhea, uveitis, kidney disease, or any other medical conditions.

3 Proper Usage

To use Mycobutin properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. If you take more of this medicine, take it more often, or do not take it for how long your doctor has prescribed, chances of side effects may be increased. Rifabutin is not intended for use in tuberculosis patients.

You may take this drug on an empty stomach, but if doing so causes stomach upset, you may take it with food. Apart from swallowing the capsule whole, you may take the medicine by emptying the contents of the capsule into a little liquid or applesauce. Make sure to consume all the food or liquid to get the full dose of the drug.

It is very crucial to keep taking the medicine for the full time of treatment, especially if you intend to use it in preventing MAC disease. Your doctor may advise taking it daily for many months. Do not miss a dose.


Follow your doctor’s orders when it comes to dosage. The following information is only for the average dosage of this drug. The number of doses, the number of hours between doses, and how long you will take this drug depend on your health condition, your progress, and how well you react to this medicine.

In preventing MAC disease in adults, doctors usually prescribe taking 300 mg once a day, or 150mg twice a day with meals. Dosage for children will be determined by the doctor.

Missed dose

Take the missed dose as soon as possible. In case it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed one and follow your regular dosing schedule. Never take double doses.


Keep the medicine in an airtight container at normal room temperature. Keep it away from direct light, heat, and moisture. Do not let it freeze. Keep the medicine out of children’s reach. Throw away any outdated medicine or medicine that are not in use. Keep the medicine in its original package until needed.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Mycobutin, there are some precautions you must take. Regular visits to your doctor are very important to make sure the drug is working properly as well as to check your progress. To check for unwanted effects, blood and urine tests may be required.

Taking this medicine may result in reddish-orange or brown-orange tinge in your urine, saliva, stools, sputum, tears, sweat, and skin. This side effect is normal as long as you are taking this medicine.

This may also result in your contact lenses getting permanently discolored. It is advisable not to wear soft contact lenses during treatment. On the other hand, hard contact lenses are not affected.

Consult your doctor if you experience:

  • blurred vision
  • the problem in reading
  • other vision changes during treatment

Your doctor may suggest having your eyes checked by an eye specialist or ophthalmologist.

Taking rifabutin may cause diarrhea, which can be severe in some cases. Diarrhea may occur for up to 2 months or longer after stopping intake. Do not take any anti-diarrhea medicine without consulting your doctor first. If your mild diarrhea gets worse, consult your doctor.

This drug can temporarily decrease the number of white blood cells in the blood, thus, increasing the risk for infection. Furthermore, taking this drug may also decrease your platelet count, which may cause problems in blood clotting. These effects may increase the risk for certain infections, bleeding of the gums, and slow healing process.

While using this medicine, be careful when brushing your teeth or using a toothpick or dental floss. Avoid having any dental work done until your blood counts return to normal. Ask your doctor on how you can keep proper oral hygiene during the course of treatment.

Taking this medicine may cause birth control pills to fail; unplanned pregnancies may take place. It is advisable to use other forms of birth control, such as condoms while using this drug.

5 Potential Side Effects

Not all of the side effects listed below may occur using Mycobutin, but if they do, you may need to get medical attention.

If any of the side effects take place, consult your doctor:

Some of the side effects may take place and may not need special medical attention and usually go away as the body adjusts to the medicine during treatment.

Some patients may experience other side effects not listed above. If you want to report side effects, you may do so by calling the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

6 Related Clinical Trials