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Original article

Vol. 141 No. 3334 (2011)

Adverse effects and adherence to treatment of rifampicin 4 months vs isoniazid 6 months for latent tuberculosis

  • I Frésard
  • PO Bridevaux
  • JP Janssens
Cite this as:
Swiss Med Wkly. 2011;141:w13240


AIM OF STUDY: To compare rates of treatment interruption because of side effects and completion rates between subjects treated for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) by isoniazid (INH) for 6 months and subjects treated with rifampicin (RIF) for 4 months.

METHODS: Retrospective analysis of all patients treated for LTBI by INH (1993–2002) or RIF (2004–2007) based on a database including age, gender, prior liver diseases, alcohol consumption, completion rates, time and cause of interruption and monthly analysis of ASAT and ALAT.

RESULTS: 624 subjects were included, 426 treated by INH and 198 by RIF. Gender, origin, history of prior hepatic disease and alcohol excess did not differ between groups. Treatment interruption because of hepatotoxicity was significantly higher in the INH group than in the RIF group (6.1% vs 2.0%; p = 0.03). Completion of treatment was significantly higher in the RIF group compared to the INH group (83% vs 74%; p = 0.02).

CONCLUSION: A 4-month RIF treatment was associated with significantly less interruption of treatment because of hepatotoxicity and higher completion rates compared to a 6-month INH regimen. These results support the RIF regimen as an alternative to the presently recommended 9 months of INH in clinical practice.


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