Ethionamide is an antibiotic used to treat tuberculosis. Ethionamide may be included in treatment regimens for drug resistant tuberculosis as well. Ethionamide is marketed under the brand name Trecator.
Ethionamide was first discovered in 1956 as a first line of treatment against tuberculosis. A dose of 0.25 microgram per milliliter of Ethionamide can effectively eliminate Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria that cause the disease.
With the advent of antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis in some parts of the world, Ethionamide is used in combination with other drugs to kill the disease-causing bacteria.
Ethionamide is classified as a prodrug, which is a substance that becomes medically effective only after being metabolized by the body. Ethionamide is activated by an enzyme called EthA. Upon activation, Ethionamide can prevent Mycobacterium tuberculosis from synthesizing lipids to form a cell wall. Bacteria cannot survive without a cell wall.
Ethionamide may also be used to treat serious infections such as Mycobacterium avium complex-MAC and lepromatous leprosy.
Ethionamide is strictly an antibiotic agent. It is not effective against viruses that cause common cold or flu infections.
Ethionamide is available as tablets in generic form or branded as Trecator.
Ethionamide should only be taken when prescribed by a doctor. Follow dosage directions exactly as instructed to avoid severe side effects or antibiotic resistance.
Ethionamide dosage will vary from person to person depending on the nature of the condition and weight of the patient. Do not consume a dose that is greater or less than what you have been prescribed.
The typical dosage of Ethionamide for adults is 250 mg tablets taken two times per day. Dosage is increased if needed by 15 to 20 mg per kilo of weight.
Ethionamide should be swallowed with a glass of water. Tablets can be taken with or without food. But if the antibiotic causes stomach upset, it’s recommended to take Ethionamide with food.
Physicians may recommend taking vitamin B6 supplements along with Ethionamide. If such is the case, take both tablets exactly as directed.
Avoid taking two doses of Ethionamide at once. Take Ethionamide during the same time each day to prevent forgetting a dose.
Ethionamide may cause one or more of the side effects listed below:
Metallic taste in mouth
Side effects should disappear in a week or less. If not, immediately consult a doctor.
Do not take Ethionamide if known to be allergic to the substance.
Ethionamide is not recommended for patients with a history of liver disease.
Patients who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning to become pregnant should consult a doctor regarding the safety of Ethionamide before use.
It is strongly recommended to avoid consuming alcohol, sedatives or tranquilizers when undergoing Ethionamide treatment. Doing so could worsen side effects such as drowsiness and depression.
Ethionamide is not safe to use in children under 12 years of age.
Lab tests for blood sugar, liver function, thyroid function and vision tests may be necessary when taking Ethionamide. Take all the lab tests requested by the doctor and do not forget appointments.