Rifampin is used with other medications to treat tuberculosis (TB; a serious infection that affects the lungs and sometimes other parts of the body). Rifampin is also used to treat some people who have Neisseria meningitides (a type of bacteria that can cause a serious infection called meningitis) infections in their noses or throats. These people have not developed symptoms of the disease, and this treatment is used to prevent them from infecting other people. Rifampin should not be used to treat people who have developed symptoms of meningitis.
NB: Antibiotics such as rifampin will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections. Using antibiotics when they are not needed increases your risk of getting an infection later that resists antibiotic treatment.