Ocular Ethambutol Toxicity

Melamud, Alex; Kosmorsky, Gregory S.; Lee, Michael S.
November 2003
Mayo Clinic Proceedings;Nov2003, Vol. 78 Issue 11, p1409
Academic Journal
Ethambutol is an antimicrobial agent used frequently to treat tuberculosis. The most commonly recognized toxic effect of ethambutol is optic neuropathy, which generally is considered uncommon and reversible in medical literature, We describe a 43-year-old man who developed signs and symptoms of bilateral optic neuropathy during treatment with ethambutol. This case and a review of the literature show the severe and unpredictable nature of ethambutol toxicity and its potential for irreversible vision loss despite careful ophthalmologic monitoring.


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