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Free Content Adverse events related to multidrug-resistant tuberculosis treatment, Latvia, 2000–2004

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SETTING: Latvia has one of the highest rates of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) globally. Clinical management of MDR-TB requires lengthy multidrug regimens that often cause adverse events.

DESIGN: We retrospectively reviewed records of patients who began MDR-TB treatment between 2000 and 2004. Treatment-related adverse events and factors associated with experiencing adverse events were evaluated. We also examined the frequency of and reasons for changing drug regimens.

RESULTS: Among 1027 cases, 807 (79%) experienced at least one adverse event, with a median of three events per case. The most commonly reported events were nausea (58%), vomiting (39%) and abdominal pain (24%). More serious events, such as psychiatric episodes (13%), hepatitis (9%) and renal failure (4%), were relatively frequent. A change in drug dose due to an adverse event occurred in 201 (20%) cases, while 661 (64%) had at least one drug discontinued temporarily or permanently. Being older, female, having bilateral lung cavities and a greater number of TB symptoms at baseline were associated with an increased number of events.

CONCLUSION: Adverse events were prevalent among MDR-TB cases treated in Latvia, with over two thirds requiring discontinuation of at least one drug. MDR-TB patients who are female, older or have severe TB disease should be closely monitored for treatment-related adverse events.
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Keywords: Latvia; adverse events; multidrug resistance; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Division of Tuberculosis Elimination, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA 2: State Agency of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, Riga, Latvia

Publication date: 2010-03-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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