Ethambutol is an antibiotic that is commonly used together with other medications for the treatment of tuberculosis (TB).
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. You can get infected by breathing in droplets containing this bacterium that are sprayed into the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
There are two types of tuberculosis:
2. Latent TB
You might have to take the medication for six to nine months. For active tuberculosis, the first two months usually consists of a combination of the four medications stated above, and the remaining four to seven months is completed using the two medications, Rifampicin and Isoniazid. Do not miss any dose of medication. This may lead to a relapse or worsening of tuberculosis, or a condition with a more resistant form of tuberculosis. In such cases, a longer duration of treatment or use of stronger medications may be needed.
Depending on your condition, you may need to attend Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) sessions to help you complete your course of treatment. DOT refers to a healthcare worker or trained volunteer supervising the patient taking each dose of tuberculosis medications. The number of DOT sessions can range from once a day to three times a week.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and seek immediate medical attention:
There are some tests that are required to better monitor and manage possible side effects from treatment of tuberculosis. These include:
Before starting TB treatment, inform your healthcare professional if:
It is important that you inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other medications – including those for current medical conditions, chronic medications, oral contraceptives (birth control pills), over-the-counter medications, supplements and traditional/herbal remedies – as they may interact with TB medications.
Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin.
Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you want to give any other medications, supplements or herbal products to your child.
If another doctor is to be seen, he/she must be informed that ethambutol is being taken before he/she prescribes any other medication.
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