Ethambutol in Kenya

Mechanism of Action:

The mechanism of action of ethambutol is not completely known. There is evidence that the drug exerts its bacteriostatic activity by virtue of inhibition of arabinosyl transferase, an enzyme that polymerizes arabinose into arabinan and then arabinogalactan, a mycobacterial cell wall constituent.

Drug Label Information | Brands:

Brands of Ethambutol in Kenya

Etham-400,Cosmos Limited
Combutol, Lupin
Ethambutol 100mg , Macleods Pharmaceuticals Limited
Ecox 400 , Macleods Pharmaceuticals Limited
Inbutol , Yuria Pharm ltd


Ethambutol hydrochloride is indicated for the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis. It should not be used as the sole antituberculous drug, but should be used in conjunction with at least one other antituberculous drug. Selection of the companion drug should be based on clinical experience, considerations of comparative safety and appropriate in-vitro susceptibility studies. In patients who have not received previous antituberculous therapy, i.e., initial treatment, the most frequently used regimens have been the following:


Ethambutol hydrochloride is contraindicated in patients who are known to be hypersensitive to this drug. It is also contraindicated in patients with known optic neuritis unless clinical judgement determines that it may be used. Ethambutol hydrochloride is contraindicated in patients who are unable to appreciate and report visual side effects or changes in vision (e.g., young children, unconscious patients).


Ethambutol hydrochloride may produce decreases in visual acuity, including irreversible blindness, which appear to be due to optic neuritis. Optic neuropathy including optic neuritis or retrobulbar neuritis occurring in association with ethambutol therapy may be characterized by one or more of the following events: decreased visual acuity, scotoma, color blindness, and/or visual defect. These events have also been reported in the absence of a diagnosis of optic or retrobulbar neuritis.

Hypersensitivity syndrome consisting of cutaneous reaction (such as rash or exfoliative dermatitis), eosinophilia, and one or more of the following: hepatitis, pneumonitis, nephritis, myocarditis, pericarditis. Fever and lymphadenopathy may be present.


Aluminium hydroxide impairs the absorption of ethambutol. Acid suppressing drugs or antacids that do not contain aluminium hydroxide can
be used during ethambutol therapy.