Etambutol is an antibiotic that prevents the growth of tuberculous bacteria in the body.
Etambutol is used to treat tuberculosis (TB) and is usually given together, at least with another drug from tuberculosis.
Etambutol can also be used for purposes not listed in this manual.
Etambutol can cause serious vision problems or irreversible loss of vision. You can not take this medicine if you have eye problems.
You should not use Etambutol if you are allergic to it. You may not be able to take Etambutol if you have a state of the eye called optical neuritis (inflammation of the nerve eye fibers). Your doctor will decide if this medication is suitable if you have eye problems.
Etambutol can cause vision problems, which can be a sign that you should stop taking the medicine. You may not be able to take Etambutol unless you can recognize or report any changes in your vision. Little children or weakened patients can not tell anyone about problems with vision.
To ensure that Etambutol is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- inflammatory visual impairment, such as uveitis or iritis;
- problems with the eyes caused by diabetes;
- liver disease;
- kidney disease; or
It is unknown whether this drug harms an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
Ethambutol can pass into breast milk and may harm a breastfeeding baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Etambutol should not be given to a child under the age of 13 years.
Ethambutol: side effects
Obtain immediate medical attention if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: shortness of breath; swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Etambutol can cause serious problems with eyesight, including loss of vision, which can be permanent. Stop using Etambutol and immediately consult a doctor if you have problems with one or both eyes, for example:
- blurred vision or problems with focusing;
- loss of vision in one eye, which lasts an hour or more;
- increased sensitivity of your eyes to light;
- loss of color vision; or
- pain with eye movement, pain behind the eyes.
Call your doctor right away if you have:
- a new or worsening cough with fever, shortness of breath;
- numbness in the hands or feet;
- fever, swollen glands, skin ulcers, cold or flu symptoms, general poor health;
- light bruising or bleeding (nasal bleeding, bleeding gums);
- chest pain or shortness of breath with light loads;
- little or no urination;
- liver problems – stomach pain, dark urine, clayey stool, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
- a strong reaction to the skin – fever, sore throat, swelling of the face or tongue, burning eyes, red or purple rash on the skin that spreads and causes blistering and flaking.
Common side effects may include:
- itching or rash;
- joint pain;
- headache, dizziness; or
- nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, dyspepsia, loss of appetite.
This is not a complete list of side effects, and others may also occur. Ask your doctor about side effects.
Avoid taking antacids containing aluminum hydroxide (Alternagel, Maalox, Mi-Acid, Mylanta, Rulox) for 4 hours after taking Etambutol. Some antacids can complicate the body’s absorption of Etambutol.
Other drugs may interact with Etambutol, including prescription and non-prescription drugs, vitamins and plant products. Tell each of your health care providers about all the medicines that you are using now, and about any medicine that you start or stop using.
The dosage of Etambutol
Follow all directions of the recipe. Your doctor can sometimes change your dose to make sure that you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in large or small quantities, or longer than recommended.
Tell your doctor if you have ever used a medicine for tuberculosis. Your dose may be different if in the past you were treated for tuberculosis.
You can take Etambutol with or without food.
Tell your doctor if you have any changes in weight. Doses of Etambutol are based on weight, and your dose can also be changed.
Use this medicine for the entire prescribed period of time. Your symptoms can improve before the infection is completely cleared. Missed doses can also increase the risk of further infection. Etambutol will not treat a viral infection, such as flu or cold.
Tuberculosis is sometimes treated with a combination of drugs. Use all medicines as directed by your doctor. Read the treatment guidelines that are provided with each medicine. Do not change the dose or timing of taking medication without consulting a doctor.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip it if it’s time to take the next scheduled dose. Do not take additional medication to make up for the missed dose.