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Review: Rifamycin Regimens OK As Alternative for Latent TB

TUESDAY, Aug. 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Short-term rifamycin-containing regimens may be an effective alternative treatment for preventing active tuberculosis, according to research published online Aug. 12 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Helen R. Stagg, Ph.D., from University College London, and colleagues conducted a systematic review of the literature and identified 53 randomized, controlled trials that evaluated the treatment of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI). The researchers performed a network meta-analysis that allowed indirect comparison of 15 regimens for preventing active TB in patients with LTBI.

The researchers found that, compared with placebo, several treatment regimens were effective in preventing active TB, including isoniazid for six months (odds ratio [OR], 0.64; 95 percent credible interval [CrI], 0.48 to 0.83), isoniazid for 12 months or longer (OR, 0.52; CrI, 0.41 to 0.66), rifampicin for three to four months (OR, 0.41; CrI, 0.18 to 0.86), rifapentine-isoniazid (OR, 0.61; CrI, 0.29 to 1.22), and rifampicin-isoniazid (OR, 0.52; CrI, 0.34 to 0.79).

"Further trials are needed to clarify which of these short-course regimens offer the greatest advantages for patients and programs and under what conditions," write the authors of an accompanying editorial. "Nevertheless, we believe that the TB control community should get a move on -- it's time to switch our focus to rifamycin-containing short-course treatment of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection."

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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