Pyrazinamide is a prescription used for the treatment of tuberculosis. This is used with other medications to treat the condition. Tuberculosis is a potentially serious infection that mainly affects your lungs. Through tiny droplets released into the air via coughs and sneezes, the bacteria are spread from one person to another. Although your body may harbor the bacteria that cause tuberculosis, your immune system usually can prevent you from becoming sick. Signs and symptoms of active tuberculosis include:

  • Coughing up blood
  • Coughing that lasts three or more weeks
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Chest pain or pain with breathing or coughing
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Night sweats
  • Loss of appetite

Tuberculosis can also affect other parts of your body including your spine, kidneys, or brain. When the condition occurs outside your lungs, symptoms may vary according to the organs involved. Tuberculosis of the spine may give you back pain and tuberculosis in your kidneys might cause blood in your urine.

Pyrazinamide is an antibiotic that stops the growth and spread of bacteria. This antibiotic treats only bacterial infections and will not work for viral infections (flu/common cold). Unnecessary use or misuse of any antibiotic can lead to its decreased effectiveness. Pyrazinamide is a prescription approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This product is supplied as a tablet for oral use. Each tablet is available in a 500 mg dosage form with an active ingredient of Pyrazinamide. It is a white crystalline powder that is sparingly soluble in water and stable at room temperature. Pyrazinamide is an analog of nicotinamide and an anti-tuberculous agent.

How does Pyrazinamide work?

Pyrazinamide works by targeting and inactivating a bacterial enzyme called RNA-polymerase. The tuberculosis bacteria use RNA-polymerase to make essential proteins. It also copies its genetic information which is called the DNA. Without this enzyme, the bacteria cannot reproduce and they die. This drug is thought to prevent tuberculosis bacteria from making substances called mycolic acids. In which, it is needed to form the cell walls of the bacteria. As a result of the disruption in its metabolism and without a cell wall, the bacteria die.

Pyrazinamide works in a different way to kill tuberculosis bacteria that have infected cells. There are two stages in the treatment for tuberculosis. In the first two months, treatment is aimed at killing as many bacteria as possible. As a result, some anti-TB medications with different mechanisms of action are used together. Besides, using different medicines together makes it less likely that bacteria will develop resistance to the treatment.

How to use Pyrazinamide?

The recommended dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to the treatment. Your doctor may direct you to start at a lower dose and eventually increase it. Pyrazinamide is to be taken by mouth. This is usually taken once or twice weekly or as directed by your doctor. You may take each dose with or without a meal. Swallow the tablet as a whole with a full glass of water. Do not break, chew, or crush it. You should start to feel better and have fewer symptoms after taking the medicine for about 2 weeks. However, they must continue to take the drug every day until your doctor says to stop treatment. This will be for 2 months for Pyrazinamide and at least 6 months for other medicines.

You should take the right dose, not more or less. Continue to take this drug until the full prescription is done even if symptoms disappear. Stopping the medication too early or skipping doses may allow the bacteria to grow. It may also result in the return of the infection and cause infection to be more difficult to treat. For the best benefit from this product, take this antibiotic at evenly spaced times.If you are taking this medication daily,take it at the same time and in the same way each day. If you missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. If it is almost time for your next dose, never mind the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed dose. Let your doctor know if your condition does not improve or if it gets worse.

What are the side effects of Pyrazinamide?

Common side effects:

  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Mild muscle or joint pain

Tell your doctor if you have unlikely but serious side effects of this medication such as:

  • Painful or swollen joints
  • Fever
  • Darkened urine
  • Difficult urination
  • Symptoms of liver disease (unusual tiredness or weakness, persistent nausea or vomiting, severe stomach or abdominal pain, and yellowing eyes or skin)

Warnings and Precautions

  • While having this treatment, avoid drinking large amounts of alcohol. It may increase the risk of side effects.
  • You will need to have a blood test to check your liver function before you start treatment with this drug.
  • This is not recommended for use in children under 8 years of age or weighing less than 30 kg.
  • Before taking this medicine, you should have an eye test. If you notice any changes in your vision during treatment, you should stop taking Pyrazinamide and call your doctor right away.
  • Some ingredients of this drug may discolor your urine, saliva, or sweat. This is normal and not harmful.
  • Keep this product out from the reach of children.

This medication should not be used in people:

  • With jaundice, acute liver disease, and an acute attack of gout
  • With hereditary blood disorders called porphyrias
  • Who have experienced before serious liver complications after taking any medicines

Use this with caution in:

  • Children and elderly people
  • People with decreased liver and kidney function
  • People with diabetes, HIV infection, and with a history of gout
  • People who are malnourished and who drink excessive amounts of alcohol or who are dependent on alcohol
  • People with a history of convulsions or psychotic illness
  • People with poor vision or inflammation of the optic nerve that connects the eye to the brain