ethionamide (generic name)

It is used to treat tuberculosis (TB)
(e thye ON am ide)
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What is this medicine?

ETHIONAMIDE (e thye ON am ide) is an antibiotic. It is used to treat tuberculosis (TB). This medicine is used with other medicines and should never be used alone. It will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • diabetes
  • HIV infection
  • liver disease
  • thyroid disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to ethionamide, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take this medicine with or without food. If this medicine upsets your stomach, take with food. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Take all of your medicine as directed even if you think you are better. Do not skip doses or stop your medicine early.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses. Tell your health care professional about all missed doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • alcohol
  • cycloserine
  • isoniazid

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular check ups. You will need blood work done regularly. Have your eyes examined as directed by your doctor.

If you have stomach upset, talk with your doctor. Do not stop taking this medicine. The side effects may get better with time.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

If you are diabetic check your blood sugar as directed. This medicine may lower you blood sugar levels. Talk to your doctor about what your blood sugar should be and when to contact them.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • bruising or pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • changes in vision, with or without eye pain
  • confused, depressed, forgetful, restless
  • low blood sugar
  • tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands or feet
  • trouble sleeping
  • unusually sensitive to the sun
  • unusually weak ot tired
  • yellowing of the eyes or skin

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • change in sex drive or performance
  • diarrhea
  • drooling
  • headache
  • loss of appetite
  • metallic taste
  • mouth sores
  • stomach upset, nausea, vomiting
  • swollen or tender breasts

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: April 21, 2009
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