Ethambutol – Tuberculosis Medication

Ethambutol – tuberculosis medication

Ethambutol Brand Name

Ethambutol is a drug used to fight tuberculosis. A branded medicine based on ethambutol hydrochloride is called Miambutol. It is produced by an Italian pharmaceutical company, but in the world this drug is better known by its international nonproprietary name, because generics of this drug occupy the lion’s share of the market. Due to international patent law, the names of generic drugs usually have nothing to do with the word “Miambutol”. As a rule, it is simply Ethambutol or Ethambutol hydrochloride in combination with the name of a specific manufacturer of a particular generic of this drug.

Ethambutol is a bacteriostatic drug, the peculiarity of which is that it is effective against typical and atypical (fast and slow growing) Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The drug disrupts RNA synthesis in bacterial cells, inhibits the synthesis of the cell wall, blocking the inclusion of mycolic acids in it.

The minimum concentration that inhibits the visible growth of a microorganism for ethambutol is 0.78 – 2.0 mg/l. Ethambutol has no effect on non-tuberculosis pathogenic microorganisms.

Ethambutol Uses

Ethambutol is an antibacterial bacteriostatic antituberculosis agent that belongs to the pharmacological group of other synthetic antibacterial agents. Ethambutol hydrochloride is a white crystalline powder that is easily soluble in water.

The main indication for the use of ethambutol is all forms of tuberculosis in combination with other drugs. Ethambutol is not recommended for patients under 13 years of age, as there is no clinical data on the effectiveness and safety of the drug in this age category of patients.

During pregnancy, ethambutol can be used only according to strict indications under the continuous supervision of doctors, comparing the expected benefits and potential risks to the fetus. Those pregnant women who have tuberculosis should be treated for at least 9 months with several drugs at the same time, including ethambutol. The drug passes through the blood-placental barrier, and the concentration of the drug in the fetal blood is about 30% of its concentration in the maternal blood. No complications in humans associated with the use of ethambutol have been recorded. However, in embryonic and fetotoxicity studies in animals receiving high doses of ethambutol, cleft lip, spinal malformations, especially cervical, cyclopia, limb defects, and axencephaly were observed in fetuses.

Ethambutol Dosage

The medicine is taken orally after meals once a day. It is generally recommended to take the medicine in the morning. For adults who have not previously taken any other anti-tuberculosis drugs, ethambutol is usually prescribed at a dosage of 15 mg/kg of body weight per day, and for those who have already taken drugs to combat tuberculosis – 25 mg/kg of body weight per day, up to up to 30 mg/kg of body weight per day daily for two months. After this period, it is recommended to take the medicine in a maintenance dose (50 mg/kg 2-3 times a week). The maximum daily dose of ethambutol is 2 g.

For children over 13 years of age, the dosage varies from 15 to 25 mg/kg of body weight per day, depending on the tolerability of the drug by the individual patient, the presence of concomitant diseases and the general condition of the body. The maximum daily dose for children is 1 g.

The duration of treatment can be up to 2 years, but not less than 9 months. In case of renal failure, a dosage reduction is required. Depending on creatinine clearance, the dosage is reduced to 20-15 or 10 mg/kg of body weight per day, for hemodialysis – to 5 mg per kilogram of body weight per day. It is noteworthy that the daily dose of the drug is not recommended to be divided into several doses, since in this case a sufficient therapeutic concentration of the active substance will not be created.

Ethambutol Side Effects

Like most other serious medications, especially antibacterial ones, ethambutol causes a number of side effects. From the nervous system and sensory organs, patients may experience weakness, headache, dizziness, disturbance of consciousness, disorientation, hallucinations, even depression may develop. Long-term use of ethambutol can cause peripheral neuritis, which appears as paresthesia in the extremities, a feeling of numbness, paresis, and itching. Taking ethambutol is fraught with the development of optic neuritis, which is manifested by a decrease in visual acuity, impaired light perception of mainly green and red colors, light blindness and even scotoma – an area of complete or partial loss of the visual field.

Ethambutol and Optic Neuropathy

Before starting and during treatment with ethambutol, a monthly ophthalmological examination should be performed – first of each eye separately, then of both eyes together (examination of the fundus, visual acuity and fields, color vision). It is not recommended to use ethambutol if adequate vision control is impossible (such circumstances include age under 2-3 years, extremely severe general condition of the body, mental disorders). If visual impairment occurs, ethambutol is discontinued.

Drug-induced optic neuropathy is a group of disorders resulting in drug-induced degeneration of the optic nerve. Toxic optic neuropathy is detected at a subclinical level in patients receiving ethambutol at a dose of 15 – 20 mg/kg daily, in 4.2%, which is almost 14% of all detected eye pathologies.

In most patients, vision is usually restored several weeks or months after discontinuation of therapy, but cases of irreversible vision loss have also been described. In addition to ethambutol withdrawal, drugs and treatments prescribed by neurologists to combat peripheral neuropathy can be used to treat drug-induced neuropathy, but in most cases such treatment is not evidence-based and its effectiveness is questionable.

Buy Ethambutol Online

Like most other drugs, the dispensing of which from pharmacies is not subject to strict accounting (in the modern world these are almost only narcotic analgesics and strong sleeping pills), ethambutol can be purchased online, and this applies to both the original drug and its numerous generics.

Today, Indian generics of Ethambutol are leading the global pharmaceutical market. They are manufactured by most of the major Indian pharmaceutical companies such as Lupine Ltd., Atom Pharma, Micro Labs Ltd., Alpha Chemika and many more.

Indian pharmaceutical products are of unsurpassed quality combined with affordable prices, which makes it possible and advisable to use generics of ethambutol – one of those drugs that are used to treat such a serious disease as tuberculosis, and if taken, the insufficient quality of the drug can become a threat to life patient.

Purchasing ethambutol online has a number of advantages, such as a more affordable price for the drug, which is important for long-term use, no need to contact a pharmacist (especially in a number of countries, tuberculosis still remains a stigmatized disease), as well as the convenience of choosing the drug option that suits your needs. best meets the dosage recommendations given to the patient (100, 200 or 400 mg tablets).

Ethambutol Cost (Ethambutol Price)

Buying generic ethambutol online is a good opportunity to save on the treatment of such a serious and dangerous disease as tuberculosis. For example, a package of ethambutol from Medihome Pharma, which contains 120 tablets of 400 mg of ethambutol hydrochloride each, costs only about $1.2, while when buying Miambutol (the original medicine) in a similar quantity and in a similar dosage it will cost the patient approximately $73. At the same time, the price of the medicine can reach a higher value, for example, $150 for 100 tablets. Taking into account the fact that tuberculosis treatment is always carried out comprehensively and the patient must spend money not only on ethambutol, the blow to the budget is quite serious. The price difference between a brand-name drug and its generic counterparts is an important relief for patients battling tuberculosis.