A Quicker Cure for Multidrug-Resistant TB

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23 Sep 2016 - General

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Since the link couldn't be posted, I'm sharing a summary of the article instead:

The WHO has set recommendations for a faster and more cost-efficient way to treat multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. This includes giving the patient 4 drugs during the initial 4-6 months (initiation/ intensive phase), then giving 2 drugs for the next 5 months (continuation phase). Depending on the susceptibility of the strain, the following drugs can be given for the initiation phase:  prothionamide, clofazimine, pyrazinamide, high-dose isoniazid, kanamycin, moxifloxacin, and ethambutol; while moxifloxacin, clofazimine, pyrazinamide, and ethambutol may be given during the continuation phase.

Aside from being less costly for patients, this regimen can also boost patient compliance compared to the convetional MDR-TB regimen where the initiation phase takes up to 8 months, and the continuation phase takes one year. This shorter course can then also decrease prevalence and reduce chances of transmission.

I didn't really know about this shorter regimen until I read this article, so I'm just sharing. I think its a good thing that this shorter regimen works. Have you encountered cases of MDR-TB? Any thoughts on this regimen?

Here's the link to the article, and a factsheet from WHO too:

We encounter some cases here in our hospital, unfortunately. In the Philippines, we do direct observation treatment wherein the patient must take in free tuberculosis medications daily in front of a healthcare worker to ensure compliance. This was done because people used to sell their tuberculosis medications to earn money for food and this may have caused the resistant strains to develop. What is important to note in the second line drugs is the class of fluoroquinolones. This has been prescri...
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