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Bull World Health Organ. 1970;43(1):143-206.

A controlled comparison of a twice-weekly and three once-weekly regimens in the initial treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis.

[No authors listed]


A previous report from the Tuberculosis Chemotherapy Centre, Madras, demonstrated the value of a fully supervised twice-weekly regimen of high-dosage isoniazid plus streptomycin in the treatment of newly diagnosed tuberculous patients with drug-sensitive cultures. A logical consequence of this finding was an investigation of regimens with a longer interval between successive doses. The present report describes the findings of a controlled study of 3 once-weekly regimens and the twice-weekly regimen. The results confirm that the twice-weekly regimen is highly effective and demonstrate that its efficacy is not influenced by the rate of inactivation of isoniazid or by a reduction (by one-fourth) in the dosage of streptomycin. The results also show that once-weekly chemotherapy from the beginning, whether with high-dosage isoniazid plus streptomycin or high-dosage isoniazid plus streptomycin plus high-dosage pyrazinamide, gives unsatisfactory results. However, when an initial daily phase of 4 weeks with a moderate dosage of isoniazid plus streptomycin preceded the once-weekly phase of high-dosage isoniazid plus streptomycin, the response was highly satisfactory in slow inactivators of isoniazid (as good as with the twice-weekly regimen) but was considerably less satisfactory in rapid inactivators. These findings suggest that if a method of compensating for the insufficiency of this regimen in rapid inactivators of isoniazid can be found, the prospects for evolving a highly satisfactory once-weekly regimen are bright.

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