January 12, 2011

Latent TB Therapy Dangerous For Seniors

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- According to a new study, treatment for latent tuberculosis may be hazardous for those over the age of 65. Although latent tuberculosis therapy has shown effective results in the United States and Canada in preventing the onset of active tuberculosis (TB), not everyone is safe from its potentially harmful side effects.

"The primary objective for this study was to derive population-based estimates for rates of severe adverse events associated with therapy for latent tuberculosis in different age groups," lead researcher Dr. Dick Menzies of the Montr©al Chest Institute, and his co-authors, wrote.

Dr. Menzies and his associates found that latent TB therapy yielded some very unfavorable results for patients. These included adverse hepatic (noninfectious/toxic hepatitis), gastrointestinal (vomiting and dyspepsia), hematologic (thrombocytopenia), allergenic (dermatitis) and poisonous side effects.

"Our study provides estimates of the risk of latent TB therapy-related adverse events requiring hospitalization," Menzies and his co-authors wrote. "These risk estimates are age-stratified, are based on virtually all patients treated among a large population during six years, and account for comorbidities and the occurrence of similar health events in the general population."

Source: Canadian Medical Association Journal, January 2011