Q. What is Ethide? What is it used for?
Ethide 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 Ethide 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. Ethide, 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 Ethide 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 Ethide. 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 Ethide?
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 Ethide may affect your liver. Ethide 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 Ethide?
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 Ethide?
Pyridoxine is vitamin B6 that helps to prevent nerve damage, which may occur with the use of Ethide. The symptoms of nerve damage are numbness, tingling, or pain in your hands or feet.
Q. My friend is taking Ethide 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 Ethide or other medicines that she is taking for TB. Ethide may cause depression, confusion, aggression, abnormal thinking, and even hallucinations. You should speak to her family or doctor and help her out.