Surveillance of tuberculosis treatment prescription in Italy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In industrialized countries, data on antituberculosis treatment are scanty. The aim of this study was to describe the tuberculosis (TB) treatment programme from diagnosis to drug intake in a model area of northern Italy, evaluating: 1) antiTB regimens prescribed and their adequacy; 2) dosage of drugs; 3) side-effects; and 4) drug resistance. Individual data on new TB cases from all the existing health facilities of the area were collected by means of a prospective surveillance system based on the systematic review of original clinical forms. Regimens were classified as adequate, potentially adequate and inadequate, based on published recommendations. Data on drug dosage, side-effects and drug resistance were analysed. Out of 109 TB cases with regimen recorded on clinical records, 20.2% included more than four major drugs, 63.3% three drugs and 16.5% two drugs. The regimens were classified as 1.8% adequate, 85% potentially inadequate and 12.8% inadequate. The dosages prescribed (mean ± SD in mg·kg body weight-1·day-1) were: isoniazid: 6.8 ± 2.7; rifampicin: 10.2 ± 2.5; ethambutol: 21.3 ± 4.5; streptomycin: 17.4 ± 4.0; and pyrazinamide: 15.2. Twelve per cent of cases required treatment modification due to side-effects. Resistance to one single drug was found in 9% of cases, but no case with multidrug-resistant TB. The description of the treatment programme revealed that: 1) the majority of regimens are potentially adequate; 2) they are at a proper dosage; 3) the side-effects are in agreement with the literature; and 4) drug-resistance rates are low.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-42
Number of pages6
JournalMonaldi Archives for Chest Disease - Cardiac Series
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Control
  • Surveillance
  • Treatment
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Surveillance of tuberculosis treatment prescription in Italy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this