Friday, April 15, 2011


The word ethambutol is made by the combination of “ethyl” + “amine” + “butanol”. It is bacteriostatic in nature.

Mechanism of action:
It causes inhibition of mycobacterial arabinosyl transferases which is involved in polymerization reaction of arabinoglycan, which is an essential component of mycobacterial cell wall.
It is also thought to inhibit RNA synthesis.

It is well absorbed from the gut. It is well distributed throughout the body. Peak level of 2-5 μg/ml is achieved in 2-4 hours. It can cross the blood brain barrier when the meninges is inflamed. 20% percent of the metabolites are excreted in feces and 50% is excreted in urine.

Therapeutic uses:
Ethambutol is found to be more effective against M. tuberculosis and M. kansasii.

It can be used for tuberculous meningitis.

Its usual dose is 15mg/kg/day.

Adverse effects:
It may cause fever and skin rashes. It may cause optic neuritis and reduction in visual acuity. It may also cause a loss of red and green color discrimination.
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