CDC Suspends Study Using TB Drug in Co-Infected HIV Patients, Citing Drug Resistance Among Some Participants
The CDC on March 6 suspended a tuberculosis drug study for patients who have both TB and HIV, after five of the study participants developed resistance to the TB drug, the AP/South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. In the study, 159 patients were given two doses per week of rifabutin, a TB drug that is considered safe to use in combination with HIV-fighting protease inhibitors. The study, which began approximately two years ago, was stopped after five of the patients, who had taken frequent doses of a similar drug early in their TB treatment, became resistant to rifabutin. However, the drug is still considered to be a "highly effective treatment" for patients with TB and HIV who have not developed a resistance, according to the CDC. "We decided to be on the safe side and avoid the risk," CDC Chief of TB Elimination Dr. Kenneth Castro said. The five rifabutin-resistant patients, who also had "extremely low counts" of CD4+ T cells, are "responding well" to alternative TB treatments, although their treatment plan may take two times as long to complete as the rifabutin regimen (AP/South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 3/14).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.