What is ETHAMBUTOL HCL?
(ETHAMBUTOL HCL) Ethambutol is used with other medications to treat tuberculosis (TB). Ethambutol is an antibiotic and works by stopping the growth of bacteria. This antibiotic treats only bacterial infections. It will not work for viral infections (such as common cold, flu). Using any antibiotic when it is not needed can cause it to not work for future infections.
How should I use ETHAMBUTOL HCL?
Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually once daily or as directed by your doctor. This medication may sometimes be taken twice weekly. Take this medication exactly as directed by your doctor. If you also take antacids that contain aluminum, take this medication at least 4 hours before the antacid. The dosage is based on your age, weight, medical condition, and response to treatment. For the best effect, take this antibiotic at evenly spaced times. To help you remember, take this medication at the same time(s) every day. Continue to take this medication (and other TB medications) until the full prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms disappear. Stopping the medication too early or skipping doses may allow the bacteria to continue to grow, which may result in a return of the infection and cause the infection to be more difficult to treat (resistant). Tell your doctor if your condition lasts or gets worse.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take ETHAMBUTOL HCL?
Before taking ethambutol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: eye problems (such as optic neuritis, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy), liver disease, kidney disease, alcohol use. Ethambutol may cause live bacterial vaccines (such as typhoid vaccine) to not work well. Tell your health care professional that you are using ethambutol before having any immunizations/vaccinations. Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). Alcohol may increase the risk of liver disease. Avoid alcoholic beverages while using this medication. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. This medication passes into breast milk but is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding. If you have HIV disease, do not breast-feed because breast milk can transmit HIV.
What may interact with ETHAMBUTOL HCL?
See also How to Use section. The effects of some drugs can change if you take other drugs or herbal products at the same time. This can increase your risk for serious side effects or may cause your medications not to work correctly. These drug interactions are possible, but do not always occur. Your doctor or pharmacist can often prevent or manage interactions by changing how you use your medications or by close monitoring. To help your doctor and pharmacist give you the best care, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) before starting treatment with this product. While using this product, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any other medicines you are using without your doctor's approval. Keep a list of all the products you use. Share the list with your doctor and pharmacist to reduce your risk for serious medication problems.
What if I miss a dose of ETHAMBUTOL HCL?
It is important to take each dose of this medication as scheduled. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
What side effects may I notice from receiving ETHAMBUTOL HCL?
Headache, loss of appetite, upset stomach, or nausea/vomiting may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: vision changes (such as blurred/decreased vision, color blindness), symptoms of liver disease (such as nausea/vomiting that doesn't stop, unusual tiredness/weakness, severe stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine), numbness/tingling of arms/legs, toe/joint pain. Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but serious side effects occur: mental/mood disorders (such as confusion, hallucinations), signs of a new infection (such as sore throat that doesn't go away, fever), easy bleeding/bruising. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Where should I keep ETHAMBUTOL HCL?
Store at room temperature between 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.