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Drugs for Tuberculosis

ception should be performed at the start of therapy, and monthly thereafter. The decision to use ethambutol in children too young to have visual acuity monitored must take into consideration the risk/benefit for each particular patient.45

Streptomycin causes ototoxicity (usually vestibular disturbance) and, less frequently, renal toxicity. Amikacin and kanamycin can cause tinnitus and high-frequency hearing loss. These drugs and capre- omycin can also cause renal and vestibular toxicity. Cycloserine can cause psychiatric symptoms and seizures. Ethionamide has been associated with gas- trointestinal, hepatic and thyroid toxicity. A delayed- release granular formulation of aminosalicylic acid (PAS) has better gastrointestinal tolerability than older formulations. Fluoroquinolones are usually well-tol- erated, but can cause gastrointestinal and CNS distur- bances, and dysglycemia can occur, particularly in the elderly and in patients with diabetes.

CONCLUSION

All initial isolates of M. tuberculosis should be tested for antimicrobial susceptibility. Initial therapy for most patients with active TB should include at least isoni- azid, rifampin, pyrazinamide and ethambutol until sus- ceptibility is known. Directly observed therapy (DOT) by a healthcare worker is the standard of care and should be offered to all patients with active TB to min- imize failure rates, relapse and the emergence of drug resistance. Confirmed multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDRTB) should be treated with DOT in collaboration with a clinician familiar with the management of the disease. Regimens for MDRTB must include at least 4 drugs to which the organism is susceptible; the dura- tion of therapy usually should be 18-24 months.

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Treatment Guidelines from The Medical Letter 21

Vol. 5 (Issue 55)

March 2007

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