The Burden of Adverse Events During Treatment of Drug-resistant Tuberculosis in Namibia - Southern Med Review Vol 5 Issue 1 July 2012
(2012; 8 pages)


Objective: Namibia faces a dual burden of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB). In 2010, HIV prevalence was 18.8%, the TB case notification rate was 634 cases per 100,000 population and the TB/HIV co-infection rate was 58%. There were 372 cases of drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) in 2009. The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence, profile and outcome of adverse events (AEs) associated with treatment of DR-TB and to explore possible influences of HIV disease on the occurrence of adverse events.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study. After ethical approval, data were collected from treatment records of all patients treated for DR-TB at the study facility between January 2008 and February 2010 using a structured data collection form.

Results: A total of 141 adverse events of varying severity were experienced in 90% (53/59) of patients.The TB/HIV co-infection rate was 53% (n=31). The prevalence of gastrointestinal tract adverse events (abdominal pains, constipation, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting) was 64%, tinnitus 45%, joint pain 28%and decreased hearing 25%. Abdominal pains, rash, nausea, decreased hearing and joint pain were more common in HIV infected than in HIV uninfected patients.

Conclusions: Adverse events of varying severity are common during treatment of DR-TB, particularly in the intensive phase of therapy. Some adverse events were more prevalent in DR-TB patients co-infected with HIV. The study concludes that the characteristics and risk factors of serious adverse events should be further examined.

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