Please note: This is for information only.

Refer to local guidelines for treatment recommendations


  • Antituberculosis agent, used in combination with other antituberculosis agents.
  • Good oral bioavailability.
  • Bactericidal in the early stages of therapy otherwise bacteriostatic.
  • Only penetrates into the CSF when the meninges are inflamed.
  • Usual dose 15mg/kg (available in 100 and 400mg tablets).
  • Renal function should be checked prior to administration. In patients with creatinine clearance <30ml/min, ethambutol should preferably be avoided. If it is used, adjust dose and monitor levels.
  • Ethambutol can cause retrobulbar neuritis, baseline visual acuity tests should be performed prior to initiation. Patients should be warned to discontinue the drug and seek medical advice if they notice a deterioration in their vision. Patients who are unable to undertake a visual acuity test or cannot understand the warnings about visual side-effects should, if possible, be giving an alternative drug.

Main indications

  • Mycobacterial disease as part of combination therapy when isoniazid resistance is possible.
  • Active against most strains of:
  • M.tuberculosis
  • Varying activity against atypical mycobacteria

Not active against most strains of:

  • Non-mycobacterial bacteria