Gatifloxacin for short, effective treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis

C. Y. Chiang, A. Van Deun, H. L. Rieder

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


The 9-month regimen for the treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) piloted in Bangladesh and used, with modifications, in Cameroon and Niger, has achieved treatment success in a very large proportion of patients; gatifloxacin (GFX) is likely to have played a critical role in this success. Two months after the publication of a study reporting that GFX and not moxifloxacin (MFX) was associated with dysglycaemia, the manufacturer announced the withdrawal of GFX from the market. The findings of that study may have less significance for the majority of MDR-TB patients living in high-incidence countries who are much younger, have a lower risk of dysglycaemia and suffer from a highly fatal condition. The problem of dysgly-caemia is not limited to GFX use and may occur with other fluoroquinolones; furthermore, GFX-associated dysglycemia was manageable among those MDR-TB patients in Bangladesh and Niger in whom it occurred. GFX has now become unavailable in Bangladesh, Cameroon, Niger and other countries piloting the shorter MDR-TB regimens, depriving resource-poor countries of an efficacious, effective and inexpensive drug with a demonstrated good safety profile for the given indication. There is little reason not to make GFX available for MDR-TB treatment as long as the superiority of non-GFX-based MDR-TB regimens is not demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1143-1147 and i
JournalInternational Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2016


  • Dysglycaemia
  • GFX
  • Multidrug resistance
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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