• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of gutGutView this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
Gut. May 1972; 13(5): 366–371.
PMCID: PMC1412215

Effect of rifampicin on liver function in man


Liver function and serum concentrations of rifampicin, a highly cholephilic antibiotic, have been studied after ingestion of a single dose of 600 mg of rifampicin in 12 patients, six of them having a normal liver and six a cirrhotic, and during treatment with 600 mg of rifampicin per day for 17 days in eight patients, four of them having a normal liver and four a cirrhotic. Rifampicin produced competition for the elimination of bilirubin and bromsulphalein by the liver. This competition, which seemed to involve mainly the uptake by the liver cell, was always rapidly reversible when treatment was discontinued. It makes it impossible, however, to interpret a bromsulphalein test during treatment with rifampicin. In the eight patients treated for 17 days, apart from the competition already mentioned, no clinical, biological, or morphological abnormalities of the liver were ascertained. But in this limited number of patients it is not possible to exclude the fact that rifampicin could provoke jaundice by idiosyncrasy in a small percentage of cases. The serum concentrations of rifampicin were higher in cirrhotic patients than in patients with normal livers, especially after one or two weeks of treatment. It is suggested that efficient blood concentrations of rifampicin would be achieved with small doses in case of previous hepatocellular insufficiency.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (840K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Acocella G, Billing BH. The effect of rifamycin SV on pigment excretion in rats. Gastroenterology. 1965 Nov;49(5):526–530. [PubMed]
  • Acocella G, Mattiussi R, Nicolis FB, Pallanza R, Tenconi LT. Biliary excretion of antibiotics in man. Gut. 1968 Oct;9(5):536–545. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Acocella G, Nicolis FB, Tenconi LT. The effect of an intravenous infusion of rifamycin SV on the excretion of bilirubin, bromsulphalein, and indocyanine green in man. Gastroenterology. 1965 Nov;49(5):521–525. [PubMed]
  • Berthelot P, Billing BH. Effect of bunamiodyl on hepatic uptake of sulfobromophthalein in the rat. Am J Physiol. 1966 Aug;211(2):395–399. [PubMed]
  • BOLT RJ, DILLON RS, POLLARD HM. Interference with bilirubin excretion by a gall-bladder dye (bunamiodyl). N Engl J Med. 1961 Nov 23;265:1043–1045. [PubMed]
  • Constans P, Saint-Paul M, Morin Y, Bonnaud G, Bariety M. Etude des taux plasmatiques de rifampicine et de leurs variations (440 dosages) Acta Tuberc Pneumol Belg. 1969;60(3):299–314. [PubMed]
  • Erlinger S, Emond M, Berthelot P, Benhamou JP, Fauvert R. Effets de la novobiocine sur le fonctionnement du foie. II. Etude expérimentale. Rev Fr Etud Clin Biol. 1966 Aug-Sep;11(7):680–686. [PubMed]
  • Furesz S. Recent investigations on the biological properties of rifampicin. Acta Tuberc Pneumol Belg. 1969;60(3):266–269. [PubMed]
  • Lees AW, Asgher B, Hashem MA, Sinha BN. Jaundice after rifampicin. Br J Dis Chest. 1970 Apr;64(2):90–95. [PubMed]
  • Lesobre R, Ruffino J, Teyssier L, Achard F, Brefort G. Les ictères au cours du traitement par la rifampicine (12 observations) Rev Tuberc Pneumol (Paris) 1969 Apr-May;33(3):393–403. [PubMed]
  • Levi AJ, Gatmaitan Z, Arias IM. Two hepatic cytoplasmic protein fractions, Y and Z, and their possible role in the hepatic uptake of bilirubin, sulfobromophthalein, and other anions. J Clin Invest. 1969 Nov;48(11):2156–2167. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • NOSSLIN B. Bromsulphalein retention and jaundice due to unconjugated bilirubin following treatment with male fern extract. Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 1963;15 (Suppl 69):206–212. [PubMed]
  • Vall-Spinosa A, Lester W, Moulding T, Davidson PT, McClatchy JK. Rifampin in the treatment of drug-resistant mycobacterium tuberculosis infections. N Engl J Med. 1970 Sep 17;283(12):616–621. [PubMed]
  • Verbist L. Rifampicin blood levels in man. Acta Tuberc Pneumol Belg. 1969;60(3):288–298. [PubMed]
  • WEBER AP, SCHALM L. Quantitative separation and determination of bilirubin and conjugated bilirubin in human serum. Clin Chim Acta. 1962 Nov;7:805–810. [PubMed]
  • Zimmerman HJ. Papaverine revisited as a hepatotoxin. N Engl J Med. 1969 Dec 11;281(24):1364–1365. [PubMed]

Articles from Gut are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • Compound
    PubChem Compound links
  • MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles
  • Substance
    PubChem Substance links

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...