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Know more about the Anti-TB Drugs

It was Covid 19, that displaced Tuberculosis from its topmost position as the leading infectious killer worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that in the year 2021, a total of 1.6 million people dies from Tuberculosis. Infectious indeed!


Anti-TB drugs article


Tuberculosis is an infection of the lungs. Several people around the world get affected by Tuberculosis. It is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis which affects the lungs. The disease is spread by air. The respiratory droplets in the air are responsible for the infectious spread. When a person affected with TB sneezes or coughs there is a release of the germ in the air and anyone who inhales it can get affected. People with a compromised immune system, HIV, diabetes, and taking alcohol or tobacco have a higher risk of falling ill.

The commonly seen symptoms of active TB can be

•    Cough with sputum and blood at times
•    Chest pain
•    Weakness
•    Weight loss
•    Fever
•    Night sweats

WHO recommends rapid molecular diagnostic tests as the initial diagnostic test in all persons with symptoms of TB as they have high diagnostic accuracy and early detection of TB and drug-resistant TB. The first line of treatment and FDA-approved drugs for TB are Rifampin, Isoniazid, Ethambutol, and Pyrazinamide. The combination and duration of the medications depending on the patient and the stage of the disease (Active or Latent stage). Active TB is where the patient shows symptoms and can pass the disease to others. Whereas latent TB is where the patient may harbour the virus, but the immune system fights it and the patient does not have any symptoms. Latent TB also needs treatment to prevent it from turning into active TB.

Let us understand these drugs

Rifampin works by inhibiting bacterial protein synthesis and transcription.
Isoniazid is a pro-drug that is converted to its active form and thus performs its action by inhibiting the biosynthesis of mycolic acid.
Pyrazinamide is converted to its active and inhibits possibly coenzyme A synthesis needed for the bacteria to survive.
Ethambutol works by inhibiting the enzyme arabinosyl transferases and prevents the biosynthesis of the mycobacterial cell wall.

Precautions before using the Anti TB drugs

Drugs interact with other drugs and the food you eat. Sometimes these interactions could lead to some severe side effects. It is essential to discuss the risks and benefits of the drug with your doctor before you begin therapy. Inform your doctor about your medical history and your familial medical history. Let the doctor know if you have any of the following disorders.

•    Diabetes
•    Bleeding problems
•    Cardiac disorders
•    Liver disease
•    Kidney disorder
•    Skin issues

Let the doctor know if you are planning a family or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Discuss your current medications and any supplements or herbal products you may be consuming.

How to take TB drugs?

•    TB is divided into two major phases active and latent.
•    Anti-TB first-line drugs can be taken orally as directed by the doctor.
•    A combination of the drugs, Rifampin, Isoniazid, and Pyrazinamide is beneficial to treat tuberculosis (TB) infection. 
•    Initially, two months of first-line drug therapy, orally daily for eight weeks for a total of 56 doses. Once completed, Isoniazid and Rifampin are continued for an additional four-month for the continuation phase, orally daily for 18 weeks for a total of 126  doses.
•    Streptomycin can be substituted for the one who cannot tolerate Ethambutol. 
•    Latent tuberculosis is treated by isoniazid therapy for nine months.
•    Do not alter the dosage without the consultation of your doctor.
•    Consult your doctor before stopping the drug.

How are the Anti-TB drugs available in the market?

Anti-TB drugs can be available as an intravenous powder for injection and also as oral capsules. The doctor decides the dosage and the way to administer the drug based on the age and medical condition of the patient. The dose varies for each patient.

Anti-TB first-line drugs are popularly sold under the below-given brand names

•    R-Cin 450 Lupin,
•    Forecox Macleod Pharmaceuticals
•    Macox Plus Macleod Pharmaceuticals
•    P-Zide 750 Cadila Pharmaceuticals
•    PZAMIDE 750 Apex
•    Pyzina 500 Lupin
•    Fixcom 2 Natrapharm
•    Solonex Macleod Pharmaceuticals.

Adverse effects of the Anti TB drugs

All drugs have some unwanted effects. These side effects can be mild, moderate, or at times severe. At times a drug may not suit our bodies. Our body retaliates in form of adverse effects. Side effects of, drugs at times can be severe. In case you experience any unpleasant side effects, consult your doctor immediately.
Anti-TB drugs may cause some side effects in some individuals.

The common side effects are

•    Chest pain
•    Clumsiness
•    Coughing or spitting up blood
•    Dark urine
•    Fast and racing heartbeat or irregular pulse or a pounding pulse
•    Loss of appetite
•    Nausea
•    Numbness, tingling, burning, or pain in the hands and feet
•    Pain in the joints
•    Sneezing
•    Breathing issues
•    Unusual tiredness
•    Vomiting
•    Yellow eyes or skin

Severe side effects are more pronounced although rare. In some cases, they prove to be life-threatening. If you experience any severe symptoms after taking anti-TB drugs immediately call your doctor and seek medical assistance.

Some severe side effects are given below

•    Chills and fever
•    Difficulty in breathing
•    Hearing loss
•    Muscle and bone pain
•    Ringing or buzzing in the ears
•    Shivering
•    Increased BP
•    Fainting
•    Seizures
•    Persistent bleeding from the mouth

How to know if the Anti TB drugs are beneficial for you?

Scientists the world over are researching and finding new ways to lead happier and healthier life.  Due to medical advances, the overall life expectancy has increased over the years. The MEDNAwise pharmacogenetic testing is an amazing test that can tell you if a particular drug is beneficial for you. adjusted by the clinician. This test can forecast your genetic response to 70+ drugs and give you the best treatment as per your genetic profile. Genes are the reason why some medicines may work for you, while others may not. Genes are also responsible for any side effects, you may experience. 

Today, with MEDNAwise pharmacogenetic testing it is easy to know which drug will be the most effective and bring the best results. It can tell you which drugs and dosages may be the best for you and also will let you know the adverse effects. It is always beneficial to find out if you will have serious side effects from medicine. MEDNAwise is the perfect test to know if the Anti TB drugs suit you and the adverse effects you may have if any. Moreover, MEDNAwise is a simple and affordable test. A spit swab test does not require any preparation. You can take this test from your home and send the samples for testing. After the results, the genetic counsellors help you interpret the results and discuss further steps.  A huge advantage is that it is a single-time test, which means you have to take the test only once and the results of it can be used whenever required. It is beneficial for any future medical emergencies too.  Take the step, that will lead you to help your doctor have precise, actionable information about the correct medical selection and treatment. It would give you a stress-free and healthy life! Do not wait any longer, call Indus Health Plus today, to book your MEDNAwise pharmacogenetic test!


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