CLINICAL IMPROVEMENT AND DRUG-ADVERSE EFFECTS AMONG PATIENTS TAKING ANTI-TUBERCULOSIS DRUGS
Introduction: Although an optimal treatment is available for tuberculosis in most settings, the disease remains to be a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. An assessment of treatment outcomes and anti-tuberculosis drug adverse effects will help in the fight against tuberculosis. There is a serious lack of information as to the picture of the Ethiopian TB patients’ response to treatment and the adverse effects of treatment.
Objective: The main aim of this study is to assess tuberculosis clinical improvement and anti-TB drug adverse effects.
Methods: This is a cross-sectional descriptive study with some analytic components done on TB patients who came to the DOTS clinics in Gondar, Ethiopia. A well-structured and pre-tested questionnaire with socio-demographic and relevant clinical variables was used for data collection.
Results and Conclusion: The commonest TB symptoms seen in this study were fever, weight loss, cough, night sweating, and anorexia. Most of the symptoms improved within the conventional improvement time of 3 to 6 weeks. However, weight loss and fatigue improved late. Forty-six percent of the subjects experienced at least one drug-adverse effect at some time while on treatment. Major adverse effects were seen in 24.3% of the subjects. The commonly encountered adverse effects were GI upset (22.8%), neuropathic symptoms (13.5%), sleepiness (11.2%), and skin rash (9.0%). Fever improvement was delayed among patients co-infected with HIV. There was no significant delay in improvement of the other TB symptoms among HIV co-infected patients. HIV infection was not found to affect the occurrence of any of the drug-adverse effects in this study. However, cotrimoxazole use was found to increase the risk of skin rash by 4 fold.