Thrice-Weekly Clarithromycin-Containing Regimen for Treatment of Mycobacterium kansasii Lung Disease: Results of a Preliminary Study

Griffith, David E.; Brown-Elliott, Barbara A.; Wallace Jr, Richard J.
November 2003
Clinical Infectious Diseases;11/1/2003, Vol. 37 Issue 9, p1178
Academic Journal
We initiated a prospective trial of an intermittent clarithromycin-containing regimen for the treatment of patients with Mycobacterium kansasii lung disease. Eighteen patients (10 men and 8 women) with M. kansasii lung disease received a regimen consisting 500–1000 mg of clarithromycin, 25 mg/kg ethambutol, and 600 mg of rifampin 3 times per week. The primary treatment end point was a 12-month period during which sputum cultures were sterile while the patient was receiving therapy. Four male patients were lost to follow-up, but all of the remaining patients successfully completed therapy without significant drug-related adverse events. The mean time (± standard deviation [SD] to sputum conversion was 1.0 ± 0.9 months, and the mean duration (±SD) of therapy was 13.4 ± 0.9 months. No patient who successfully completed therapy had relapsed after a mean (±SD) of 46 ± 8.0 months. Clarithromycin- and rifampin-containing regimes offer the possibility of effective short-course and intermittent treatment of M. kansasii lung disease.


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