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Pyrazinamide

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Antitubercular Adult, Children

Pyrazinamide - What is it for

Pyrazinamide 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:

  1. Active TB
  • An infection with M. tuberculosis could present with symptoms. It is possible to spread the infection when you have active tuberculosis that is not treated.
  • Common signs and symptoms include coughing for more than three weeks, may be coughing up blood, fever, night sweats, loss of appetite, weight loss, pain in the chest.
  • Your doctor may do an X-ray of your chest to observe for any unusual signs in your lungs, or a phlegm test to check for the presence of the tuberculosis bacteria under the microscope.
  • Usually treated with a combination of the following four medications: Rifampicin, Isoniazid, Ethambutol and Pyrazinamide. These medications can work together to kill the tuberculosis bacteria.

      2.  Latent TB

  • An infection with tuberculosis bacteria but with NO symptoms.
  • If you have latent TB, you cannot spread it to another person
  • Usually treated with either Isoniazid or Rifampicin.

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.

  • Updated on Saturday, August 31, 2019
  • Article contributed by PSS National Medication Information Workgroup

    The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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