Drug Levels and Effects:

Summary of Use during Lactation:

Limited information indicates that there are low levels of rifampin in breastmilk that would not be expected to cause any adverse effects in breastfed infants. The amount of rifampin in milk is insufficient to treat tuberculosis in the breastfed infant. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other professional organizations state that breastfeeding should not be discouraged in women taking rifampin .[1][2][3]

Drug Levels:

Maternal Levels.

One old study reported that after a single oral dose of rifampin of 150 mg, milk levels 4 hours after the dose ranged from 0 to 1.8 mg/L. After a single oral dose of 450 mg, milk levels 12 hours after the dose ranged from 3.4 to 4.9 mg/L.[4] Details of the study and patients were not stated.

Infant Levels.

Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Effects in Breastfed Infants:

One woman taking rifampin 450 mg,isoniazid300 mg and ethambutol 1200 mg daily during pregnancy and rifampin 450 mg andisoniazid300 mg for the first 7 months of lactation (extent not stated). The infant was born with mildly elevated serum liver enzymes which persisted for to 1 (alanine transferase) to 2 years (aspartate transaminase), but had no other adverse reactions.[5]

Rifampinwas used as part of multi-drug regimens to treat 2 pregnant women with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis throughout pregnancy and postpartum. Their two infants were breastfed (extent and duration not stated). At age 3.9 and 5.1 years, the children were developing normally except for hyperactivity in one.[6]

Possible Effects on Lactation:

Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.


1. Blumberg HM, Burman WJ, Chaisson RE et al. American Thoracic Society/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Infectious Diseases Society of America: treatment of tuberculosis. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2003;167:603-62. PMID:12588714
2. Anon. Treatment of tuberculosis. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2003;52:1-77. PMID:12836625
3. Bartlett JG. Guidelines section. Infect Dis Clin Pract. 2002;11:467-71.
4. Lenzi E, Santauri S. [Preliminary observations on the use of a synthetic rifamycin derivative]. Atti Accad Lancisiana Roma. 1969;13 (Suppl 1):87-94.
5. Peters C, Nienhaus A. [Case report--tuberculosis in a health care worker during pregnancy]. Pneumologie. 2008;62:695-8. PMID:18855309
6. Drobac PC, del Castillo H, Sweetland A et al. Treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis during pregnancy: long-term follow-up of 6 children with intrauterine exposure to second-line agents. Clin Infect Dis. 2005;40:1689-92. PMID:15889370

Substance Identification:

Substance Name:


CAS Registry Number:


Drug Class:

  • Antitubercular Agents

  • Leprostatic Agents

  • Rifamycins

  • Administrative Information:

    LactMed Record Number:


    Last Revision Date:

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