|Type of medicine||Antituberculosis drug|
|Used for||Used alongside other drugs to treat and prevent tuberculosis (TB)|
|Also called||Rifinah® (isoniazid in combination with rifampicin)
Rifater® (isoniazid in combination with rifampicin and pyrazinamide)
Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection mostly found in the lungs but which can affect any part of the body. TB is treatable with a course of medicines which usually last 6 months. Several medicines are given together to treat TB - isoniazid is one of the medicines which are used. Isoniazid works by stopping the bacteria that cause tuberculosis from growing and multiplying.
Before taking isoniazid
Before taking isoniazid make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you have liver or kidney problems.
- If you have or have previously had psychosis (a mental health problem).
- If you know you have slow acetylator status, which means your body may process isoniazid more slowly, leading to an increased risk of side-effects.
- If you have epilepsy or diabetes.
- If you are alcohol dependent (drink excessively).
- If you are malnourished (eat an insufficient diet).
- If you are HIV positive.
- If you have porphyria (a blood disorder).
- If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal or complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or any other medicine.
How to take isoniazid
- Before beginning treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet.
- Your doctor will want to check your liver and kidney function before you start taking isoniazid, and during your treatment.
- It is important that you take all of the medicines you have been given to treat tuberculosis exactly as you have been directed by your doctor.
- Try to take isoniazid at the same time each day to avoid missing any doses.
- Take isoniazid 30 to 60 minutes before food.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the following day, skip the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Your treatment with isoniazid will usually last for up to six months, and will be part of a treatment regimen which will include other medicines.
- Do not stop taking isoniazid unless your doctor tells you to stop.
- Keep your regular doctor's appointment so your progress can be monitored.
- If you are having an operation or any dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with your other medicines.
Can isoniazid cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Possible side-effects||What can I do if I experience this|
|Feeling or being sick||Eat little and often. Stick to simple or bland foods – avoid very rich or spicy food.
If the sickness is severe, contact your doctor, or go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital at once
|Constipation||Try to eat a well balanced diet containing plenty of fibre, and drink 6-8 glasses of water each day|
|Dry mouth||Try chewing sugar-free gum or sugar-free sweets|
Important: If you experience jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes), malaise, (generally feeling unwell), severe nausea or vomiting, or a rash, speak with your doctor immediately or go to your local accident and emergency department without delay.
Isoniazid may rarely cause other side-effects. If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store isoniazid
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 62nd Edition (Sep 2011) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Pippa Crossley|
|Last Checked: 07/06/2011||Document ID: 3330 Version: 22||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.