July 30, 2009

Modern-day physique may affect TB drugs

A typical dose of the medication Pyrazinamide, key to treating tuberculosis, may be too low because of modern-day physiques, U.S. researchers said.

Lead author Dr. Tawanda Gumbo of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas suggests today's TB dosage may not take into account the trend in some societies towards obesity. The researchers propose different doses are probably needed in different countries.

What really drives the variability of this particular drug is patient weight and gender, so in our simulations we took that into account, Gumbo said in a statement. What we found is that we're really using doses for very skinny people -- 105 to 110 pounds. I haven't met many adults who are at that weight.

For this study, the researchers gave patients Pyrazinamide -- an older drug generally used in combination with other drugs -- daily for one month

The findings are published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.