View printable version
(Date of issue: December 2016, Version: 2)

This is a UKTIS monograph for use by health care professionals. For case-specific advice please contact UKTIS on 0344 892 0909. To report an exposure please download and complete a pregnancy reporting form. Please encourage all women to complete an online reporting form.

A corresponding patient information leaflet on rifampicin use in pregnancy is available at


Rifampicin is a semisynthetic antibacterial drug used in the treatment of tuberculosis, leprosy, brucellosis, Legionnaire’s disease, Haemophilus influenza, and serious staphylococcal infections. Rifampicin is also used as prophylaxis against meningococcal meningitis.

There are very limited data concerning fetal risks following exposure to rifampicin during pregnancy. No increased risks of spontaneous abortion, congenital malformation, preterm delivery or low birth weight have been attributed to rifampicin exposure, although the underlying maternal infections requiring rifampicin treatment have known independent risks during pregnancy.
Neonatal haemorrhage has been reported following exposure to rifampicin in late pregnancy, therefore both maternal supplementation with vitamin K and neonatal intramuscular vitamin K at birth is recommended when rifampicin is administered in the weeks preceding delivery.

Due to the increased risk to both mother and fetus of an untreated maternal illness, if clinically indicated, rifampicin should not be withheld in pregnancy. Exposure to rifampicin at any stage of pregnancy would not usually be regarded as medical grounds for termination of pregnancy. Other risk factors may be present in individual cases which may independently increase the risk of adverse pregnancy outcome. Clinicians are reminded of the importance of consideration of such factors when performing case-specific risk assessments.

This document is regularly reviewed and updated. Only use full UKTIS monographs downloaded directly from to be sure you are using the most up-to-date version. The summaries of these monographs are openly available on

This is a summary of the full UKTIS monograph for health care professionals and should not be used in isolation. The full UKTIS monograph and access to any hyperlinked related documents is available to health care professionals at

If you have a patient with exposure to a drug or chemical and require assistance in making a patient-specific risk assessment, please telephone UKTIS on 0344 892 0909 to discuss the case with a teratology specialist.

If you would like to report a pregnancy to UKTIS please click here to download our pregnancy reporting form. Please encourage all women to complete an online reporting form.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that this monograph was accurate and up-to-date at the time of writing, however it cannot cover every eventuality and the information providers cannot be held responsible for any adverse outcomes of the measures recommended. The final decision regarding which treatment is used for an individual patient remains the clinical responsibility of the prescriber. This material may be freely reproduced for education and not for profit purposes within the UK National Health Service, however no linking to this website or reproduction by or for commercial organisations is permitted without the express written permission of this service. This document is regularly reviewed and updated. Only use UKTIS monographs downloaded directly from or to ensure you are using the most up-to-date version.