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Chemotherapy. 1992;38(6):410-9.

Chlorpromazine: a drug potentially useful for treating mycobacterial infections.

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Webb-Waring Lung Institute, Department of Basic Sciences and Oral Research, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver 80262.


Chlorpromazine (CPZ) is one of several phenothiazines known to have antimicrobial properties. It can inhibit mycobacteria, and was reported in the early literature to improve tuberculosis clinically. CPZ was tested here for its ability to inhibit the replication of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium avium in cultured normal human macrophages, as determined by counts of viable bacteria at 0, 4, and 7 days after bacterial infection of the macrophages. CPZ inhibited the intracellular bacteria at a concentration range of 0.23-3.6 micrograms/ml, and was more effective intracellularly than extracellularly. It was further tested for its ability to cooperate with isoniazid, streptomycin, pyrazinamide, rifampin, rifabutin, penicillin and ethambutol (EMB) against intramacrophage M. tuberculosis and M. avium. CPZ enhanced the effectiveness of most of the drugs tested against intracellular mycobacteria. However, the combination of CPZ and EMB did not result in augmented antimycobacterial activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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