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Isoniazid

INFORMATION

Uses

Isoniazid is used in the treatment and prevention of tuberculosis (TB).

How it works

Isoniazid belongs to a class of antituberculosis drugs. It suppresses the growth of tuberculosis causing bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis). It interferes with the formation of the outer protective covering (cell wall) of the bacteria by inhibiting the synthesis of a chemical called mycolic acid an essential component of cell wall.

Common side effects

Vomiting, Nausea, Inflammation of the optic nerve of the eye, Peripheral neuropathy, Agranulocytosis (deficiency of granulocytes in the blood), Aplastic anemia, Diarrhoea, Dry mouth, Gastrointestinal disorder, Haemolytic anemia, Hepatitis (viral infection of liver)

AVAILABLE MEDICINE

Expert advice

  • Do not take isoniazid, if you have severe liver problems or if you have taken isoniazid in the past and it caused liver problems, fever, chills, joint pain, or severe allergic reaction.
  • Contact your doctor immediately, if you experience symptoms such unusual tiredness (fatigue), weakness, feeling of discomfort (malaise), loss of appetite (anorexia), urge to vomit (nausea) or vomiting while taking isoniazid. It indicates that you are progressing towards liver damage.
  • Do consult your doctor before taking isoniazid if you are aged above 35 years. The frequency of isoniazid related inflammation of liver (hepatitis) is higher in individuals older than 35 years of age. The doctor may advice measurement of blood levels of enzyme transferases before starting treatment with isoniazid.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of liver damage while you are taking isoniazid.
  • Do consult your doctor before taking isoniazid, if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.
  • Isoniazid interacts with many drugs. Please inform your doctor about all the medication you are currently taking to avoid interactions that may reduce effectiveness of any treatment or aggravate side effects.
  • Do not stop taking isoniazid without consulting your doctor.
  • If you forget to take a dose of Isoniazid, take it as soon as you remember. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed dose.

Frequently asked questions

Isoniazid

Q.Is isoniazid an antibiotic?
Isoniazid is an antibiotic used in the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis or TB (a serious infection caused by bacteria that affects the lungs and in certain cases other parts of the body)

Q.Is isoniazid chemotherapy/chemotherapy drug?
Isoniazid is a primary antibiotic used for treatment of tuberculosis. Do not confuse it with chemotherapy or chemo drugs used for the treatment of cancer

Q.Is isoniazid bacteriostatic or bactericidal?
Isoniazid is a bacteriostatic antibiotic. It stops or suppresses growth of tuberculosis causing bacteria by interfering with the formation of protective outer covering (cell wall) which is essential for their growth

Q.Is isoniazid safe?
Yes. Isoniazid is safe if used at prescribed doses for the prescribed duration as advised by your doctor

Q.Is isoniazid a MAOI?
Isoniazid has very weak inhibitory activity on enzymes monoamine oxidases (MAO); however it is not used as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI)

Q.Is isoniazid a sulfa drug?
No. The chemical structure and mechanism of action of isoniazid is different from sulfa drugs

Q.Is isoniazid an inducer or inhibitor?
Isoniazid is an inhibitor (decreases activity) of an important liver enzyme system that is responsible for the final processing and elimination of several drugs from the body

Q.Can I take isoniazid with ibuprofen/Benadryl/Nyquil/Aleve/Mucinex/amoxicillin?
There no known serious drug interactions of isoniazid with ibuprofen, paracetamol (trade name: Tylenol), naproxen (trade name: Aleve), amoxicillin or any active drug present in Nyquil or Mucinex. Please inform your doctor about all the medication you are currently taking to avoid interactions that may reduce effectiveness of any treatment or aggravate side effects

Q.Does isoniazid cause weight loss/weight gain/hair loss/diarrhea/affect menstruation?
Changes in body weight (gain/loss), hair loss, diarrhea or changes in menstruation are not among the known side effects of isoniazid. You may experience few of these side effects while on multi drug (including isoniazid) treatment for tuberculosis

Q.Does isoniazid cause acne/make you tired/cause constipation?
You may experience unusual tiredness, constipation or acne while on treatment with isoniazid. Please inform your doctor about all the medication you are currently taking to avoid interactions that may reduce effectiveness of any treatment or aggravate side effects

Q.Does isoniazid affect birth control?
Isoniazid has no known interaction with commonly used oral contraceptives (birth control pills). However, multidrug treatment for tuberculosis contains active drug rifampin that decreases the effectiveness of oral contraceptives and hampers birth control.


Content on this page was last updated on 02 December, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)