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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2006 Apr 15;173(8):922-6. Epub 2006 Feb 10.

Weekly rifapentine/isoniazid or daily rifampin/pyrazinamide for latent tuberculosis in household contacts.

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  • 1Infectious Diseases Service, Hospital Universit├írio Clementino Fraga Filho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.



Treatment of latent tuberculosis (TB) infection with weekly rifapentine and isoniazid is a potentially effective alternative to current therapies.


To compare the efficacy of weekly rifapentine/isoniazid to daily rifampin/pyrazinamide in preventing TB in household contacts of patients with pulmonary TB in Brazil.


Contacts of patients with TB were randomized to rifapentine 900 mg/isoniazid 900 mg once weekly for 12 wk or rifampin 450-600 mg/pyrazinamide 750-1,500 mg daily for 8 wk and followed for at least 2 yr.


TB rates, adverse events, and adherence to therapy.


A total of 399 household contacts were enrolled, 206 in the rifapentine/isoniazid arm and 193 in the rifampin/pyrazinamide arm. The median age was 34 yr, median weight was 63 kg, 60% of participants were female, and only one patient was HIV infected. Rifapentine/isoniazid was well tolerated, but the trial was halted by the investigators before completion because of unanticipated hepatotoxicity in the rifampin/pyrazinamide arm. Twenty of 193 participants (10%) receiving rifampin/pyrazinamide experienced grade 3 or 4 hepatotoxicity, compared with 2 of 206 participants (1%) on rifapentine/isoniazid (p<0.001). There were no hospitalizations or deaths due to hepatotoxicity, and all participants' liver enzyme levels returned to normal during follow-up. During follow-up, four cases of active TB developed, three in the rifapentine/isoniazid group and one in the rifampin/pyrazinamide group (1.46 vs. 0.52%; difference, 0.94%; 95% confidence interval, -1.6 to 3.7%).


Rifapentine/isoniazid was better tolerated than rifampin/pyrazinamide and was associated with good protection against TB. Rifapentine/isoniazid weekly for 12 wk is likely a promising therapy for latent TB infection.

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