Definition of rifampicin in English:


(also rifampin)


mass nounMedicine
  • A reddish-brown antibiotic used chiefly to treat tuberculosis and leprosy.

    The antibiotic is obtained from the bacterium Nocardia mediterranei

    • ‘The organisms are treatable with tetracycline, erythromycin, rifampin, and by the sulfonamides.’
    • ‘All the 300 strains were resistant to oxacillin and penicillin and susceptible to rifampicin and vancomycin.’
    • ‘For the more commonly encountered methicillin-resistant coagulase-negative staphylococci, a combination of vancomycin, rifampin and gentamicin is indicated.’
    • ‘All the patients had bacilli sensitive to streptomycin, isoniazid and rifampicin initially.’
    • ‘The sift did not reveal any deletions that make cells susceptible to amoxicillin, penicillin, rifampin or vancomycin, which are used to treat bacterial infections of the airways, stomach and skin.’


1960s: from rifamycin (an antibiotic first isolated from the bacterium Streptomyces mediterranei) + the insertion of pi- from piperazine.