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Open Access The background and rationale for a new fixed-dose combination for first-line treatment of tuberculosis in children

In 2010, the World Health Organization revised the recommendations for the treatment of tuberculosis (TB) in children. The major revision was to increase isoniazid, rifampicin and pyrazinamide dosages according to body weight in children. The recommendations for higher dosages are based on consistent evidence from 1) pharmacokinetic studies suggesting that young children require higher dosages than adolescents and adults to achieve desired serum concentrations; and 2) observational studies reporting that the higher dosages would not be associated with increased risk of toxicity in children. However, national tuberculosis programmes faced unforeseen challenges in implementing the revised recommendations. The main difficulty was to adapt the revised dosages for the treatment of children with drug-susceptible TB using available fixed-dose combinations (FDCs). A more suitable FDC for the intensive and continuation phases of treatment has now been developed for planned implementation in 2015. This paper explains the background and rationale for the development of a new FDC tablet for children with drug-susceptible TB.

Keywords: FDCs; children; dosages; ethambutol; isoniazid; pharmacokinetic; pyrazinamide; rifampicin; toxicity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centre for International Child Health, University of Melbourne Department of Paediatrics and Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 2: Global Tuberculosis Programme, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland 3: Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Stellenbosch University, Tygerberg Children's Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

Publication date: December 1, 2015

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