What is rifocin?

Rifocineis an antibiotic. It is the trade name of rifamycin, a treatment used against infectionsby gram-positive bacteria or mycobacteria (which cause tuberculosis and other diseases).

Fun fact: Rifocin, in fact, is a group of antibacterials, among which we have rifampicin, rifabutin, rifapentine, rifalazil and rifaximin.


Themain component is rifamycin SV sodium. It has properties and functions similar to other ansamycins. Currently, only four types of rifamycins are approved for clinical use: rifapentine, rifampicin, rifabutin and rifaximin.

Note: Rifamycin SVis the natural product originally isolatedfrom the fungusStreptomyces mediterranei(1). Currently, these drugs are natural or synthetic derivatives.

Presentations and dosage

It can be purchased inmultiple presentations: oral, ointment and spray. The ointment form contains approximately 20 g of rifocine SV, while the package contains 30 g.

What function does rifocin serve?

Rifocin is used for multiple purposes, including infections by gram-positive bacteria. Next, we will mention its most frequent uses in dermatology.

1. Wounds and burns

The Solution of continuity (that is, loss of the integrity of the skin due to wounds) exposes the deepest and most vulnerable layers.

Multiple bacteria , such as Pseudomona aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureusare the most notorious examples. All of them can colonize exposed areas of the skin.

After the discovery of the effectiveness of rifocin against tuberculosis, its effectiveness as an antibiotic treatment against these opportunistic agents came to light.

2. Bacterial dermatitis

Rifocin is used against diseases such as leprosytag. A chronic neurocutaneous condition, caused byMycobacterium leprae.

Since 1960, the WHO established a Multidrug therapy (MDR), a concomitant administration of rifampicin and clofazimine. (two)

Note: Rifocin is also a treatment used for cases of cellulitis or complications derived from it, such as osteoarticular conditions (osteomyelitis), bacterial abscesses in the lungs, endocarditis (inflammation of the internal tissue of the heart), and sepsis.

Rifocin Contraindications

Like all drugs, rifocin sv cannot be used in all cases, since there are patients in risk groups. Next, we will explain some of these groups.

1. Sensitivity to components

Cases have been reported in the literature on anaphylactic(allergic) reactions after the application of this medication. For example, in 2021 a case study was published in the journal BMJ Case Rep.(3)

The mechanism of action is not fully known, but it is suspected to be an interaction between the antigen (the drug) and the individual’s antibodies, which form complexes that react.

2. Jaundice

Rifocin interacts with a very important liver enzyme, cytochrome P450tag. In patients with liver dysfunction (due to viral infections, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, cirrhosis, adverse drug reactions), the liver is also responsible for processing bilirubin.

If the liver is not working properly, bilirubin builds up, producing a yellowish discoloration, a possible sign that doctors should be aware of when administering medications.

3. Pregnancy and lactation

The consensus still remains ambiguous. Animal studies have shown adverse effects at similar or higher doses in humans, but adequate studies to demonstrate possible harmful effects on the mother and/or unborn child havenot yet been performed.

Therefore, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend its use during pregnancy.

Note: Breastfeeding is not considered an absolute contraindication, it depends on the circumstances, the state of the mother and the child.

4. Asthma

Atopic asthma is a pulmonary manifestation of an atopic state, which is a sensitization of the body towards an external agent. This state of “hypersensitivity” can increase the proclivity of the person to develop allergic reactions, due to the elevation of E antibodies.(5)

Rifocin Adverse Reactions

Allergic and/or adverse manifestations of rifocin are typical of other adverse reactionsto other drugs or allergens (allergy-causing substance). Next, we will mention the most common ones.

1. Local irritations

The local application of topical creams carries the small, but existing, risk ofdeveloping pruritus (itching), pain and discomfort in the area.

The reason? It is due to the which dilates the vessels and activates fiber C nociceptors (nerve endings capable of detecting harmful stimuli), triggering irritation and itching in the area.

2. Reddish coloration in tissues and fluids

Alsoknown as erythema. It is caused by the dilation of blood vessels, caused by histamine, prostaglandin, cytokines, leukotrienes, etc. The redness of the area is temporary and resolves when the adverse reaction ends.

Key Findings

  • Rifocine isthe trade name for rifamycin, antibiotics discovered from a fungus.
  • It is used to treat infections caused by gram-positive bacteria , such as P. aeruginosa or S. aureus, which enter through skin lesions or burns.
  • People with allergies to its components, with some liver dysfunction or pregnant women are not recommended to use this medicine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *