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Myambutol (ethambutol) is predominantly used to treat tuberculosis. It is rarely used on its own; at least one other medication, verified to be effective against the bacteria, should also be used.

If the patient has previously been treated for tuberculosis there is a chance that the bacteria will have become resistant to one or more of the previously-used medications. Doctors may want to verify their continued effectiveness with in vitro studies, or doctors may choose to use medications that have not been used previously. Both of these methods are normal.

Myambutol can be used in patients age 13 and up. Effects on younger patients have not been studied, so use is usually not considered a valid option.

First-Time Patients

If this is the first time a patient has been treated for tuberculosis, treatment is fairly simple. The medication is administered in tablets, which can be taken with or without food as desired.

Dosage depends largely on weight. In patients age 13 and up:

  • Administer 15 mg per kg of body weight (7 mg per lb of body weight).

The above should be administered once per day. Sometimes a doctor will increase dosage, but it will be administered every other day or every third day. Dosage frequency may change throughout treatment, or may not; there are many factors which can influence this.

Taking doses when recommended is important. Doses should not be missed; if a dose is forgotten, it should be taken as soon as remembered unless there are just a few hours before the next dose, in which case it should be skipped. If doses are regularly missed the medication will not be as effective, and may even contribute to resistant bacteria.

Treatment will most likely be long term, from 6 months to 2 years. Patients usually feel perfectly fine long before then, but it's very important that treatment continues if the condition is to be cured. If treatment ends early the tuberculosis will likely re-surge in the future, and this time may be more resistant to antibiotics.

At least one other medication will almost certainly be prescribed along with Myambutol. The most commonly administered is isoniazid; also common are streptomycin, cycloserine, ethionamide, pyrazinamide, and viomycin.

If two or more medications are administered along with Myambutol, users may find combined products, such as Rifater, to be less expensive than buying each product separately, as well as more convenient to take.

Taking tablets every day or every few days for years can be a hassle, especially for younger patients who tend to live more chaotic lifestyles. The payoff is well worth it, however; tuberculosis is not a fun condition to have and can have a major detrimental impact on daily activities.

Patients Previously Treated

Those who have been previously treated for tuberculosis but didn't cure it are a little more complicated to treat. Medications used in the past may not be preferred in subsequent treatments; if they are considered, in vitro tests will likely be performed to ensure the bacteria is still susceptible. The pool of medications from which doctors may draw from can quickly become small.

The amount of Myambutol is also larger at the start of treatment:

  • Administer 25 mg per kg of body weight (11 mg per lb of body weight) daily for the first 60 days.
  • After the first 60 days, dosage may be reduced to 15 mg per kg of body weight (7 mg per lb of body weight) per day.

Treatment with Myambutol and complementary medications will likely continue for at least two years, possibly longer. It is important that doses not be missed, and that treatment continues until a doctor says it may stop regardless of how good a patient feels.

Potential Complications for all Patients

Myambutol can cause a few serious side effects, though the odds of an individual experiencing them are quite low.

About 3% of patients will experience blurred vision. If addressed quickly---usually by stopping treatment with Myambutol---the condition nearly always reverses. If unaddressed, it can lead to some level of permanent vision loss. Monthly eye exams are recommended for the duration of treatment with Myambutol, especially at higher doses.

Gout may be aggravated with Myambutol. Doctors may be able to prescribe other medications to counter this, or Myambutol may need to be replaced with another medication.

Other warning signs that patients should seek medical attention for include:

  • Moderate to severe confusion
  • Numbness or tingling in extremities
  • Pain in joints
  • Disorientation
  • Fever
  • Hallucinations

More common, and less alarming, side effects include headache, mild dizziness, stomach upset, and appetite loss. These are not cause for concern unless severe enough to become disruptive.


800mg ethambutol hcl  Buy Myambutol 90 Tablets - $39.99
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Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional.

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