Information about Ethionamide

Ethionamide Uses

Ethionamide is used in the treatment of tuberculosis.

How Ethionamide works

Ethionamide is an antibiotic. It works by slowing the growth of bacteria that causes tuberculosis.

Severe side effects of Ethionamide

Nausea, Vomiting, Hypoglycemia (low blood glucose level), Low blood platelets, Hepatitis (viral infection of liver), Postural hypotension (low blood pressure), Diarrhea, Abdominal pain, Metallic taste, Stomatitis (Inflammation of the mouth), Weight loss, Psychotic disorder, Drowsiness, Restlessness, Headache, Increased bilirubin in the blood, Elevated serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase, Elevated serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase, Rash, Photosensitivity, Purpura, Decreased level of thyroid hormones, Breast enlargement in male, Impotence, Acne, Drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) syndrome, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, Toxic epidermal necrolysis, Acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis
Written By
PhD (Pharmacology), PGDPRA
Reviewed By
MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
Last updated
19 Sep 2022 | 10:09 AM (UTC)

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Available Medicine for Ethionamide

EthideLupin Ltd
881 variant(s)
EthomidMacleods Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd
1471 variant(s)
EthioConcept Pharmaceuticals Ltd
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Thiomid EUnited Biotech Pvt Ltd
751 variant(s)
MyobidPanacea Biotec Ltd
1601 variant(s)
MycotufCadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd
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EthimaxOverseas Healthcare Pvt Ltd
711 variant(s)
MD ThideManeesh Pharmaceuticals Ltd
331 variant(s)
EtomideVhb Life Sciences Inc
1141 variant(s)
EthiobinMedispan Ltd
1111 variant(s)

Expert advice for Ethionamide

  • Ethionamide is effective at treating tuberculosis when taken together with other antibacterial drugs.
  • It has to be taken for several months in order for it work properly (usually 6 months).
  • Take it with food to avoid stomach upset.
  • It can lower your blood sugar. If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar regularly.
  • Your doctor may monitor your liver function, vision and thyroid function while on treatment with this medicine.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol while taking this medication.
  • Do not stop taking Ethionamide even if you start to feel better. Stopping early can result in treatment failure and in the development of drug-resistant tuberculosis. This can be life-threatening and lead to other serious health risks.

Frequently asked questions for Ethionamide


Q. What is Ethionamide? What is it used for?

Ethionamide is an antibiotic. It is used as a second-line medicine in combination with other anti-tuberculosis medicines for the treatment of all forms of tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Q. Why is Ethionamide called a second line drug?

Tuberculosis (TB) is a difficult infection to treat and when it is detected for the first time, first-line drugs are used. Generally, the appropriate use of first-line drugs (e.g. isoniazid, rifampicin, ethambutol, pyrazinamide, and streptomycin) can effectively cure TB. But, if the patient does not respond to first-line medicines, then second-line medicines (e.g. Ethionamide, kanamycin, ciprofloxacin, etc.) are used. Second-line medicines have more side effects and are the second choice in terms of effectiveness.

Q. Are there any precautions that I should take while taking Ethionamide so that I respond to the treatment?

It is very important that you take the medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. Your doctor will prescribe at least two more medicines to be taken with Ethionamide. Take all the prescribed medicines as per the instructions and do not miss or stop the treatment on your own. Missing doses and stopping the treatment without consulting the doctor are the major causes of treatment failure and drug resistance (not responding to the medication).

Q. For how long do I need to take Ethionamide?

Your doctor will decide the duration of your treatment depending upon your response to the treatment. The doctor will observe your maximum improvement by evaluating you clinically as well as your blood tests.

Q. Why has my doctor asked me to get blood tests done regularly?

The blood tests are done to check if your liver is functioning properly or not, since Ethionamide may affect your liver. Ethionamide can also alter your blood glucose levels and thyroid hormone levels. Therefore, monitoring is required.

Q. What are the symptoms which are suggestive of liver toxicity caused by Ethionamide?

If you develop symptoms such as loss of appetite, nausea, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eye white), dark urine, discolored stools, pain and tenderness in the upper right abdomen, inform your doctor immediately. These could be the signs of liver toxicity.

Q. Is it necessary to take pyridoxine with Ethionamide?

Pyridoxine is vitamin B6 that helps to prevent nerve damage, which may occur with the use of Ethionamide. The symptoms of nerve damage are numbness, tingling, or pain in your hands or feet.

Q. My friend is taking Ethionamide and other medicines for TB. I have noticed that sometimes she acts very aggressively. Is it because of the disease or the treatment?

These changes could be due to Ethionamide or other medicines that she is taking for TB. Ethionamide may cause depression, confusion, aggression, abnormal thinking, and even hallucinations. You should speak to her family or doctor and help her out.


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