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WHO urges oral treatment regimens for drug-resistant TB

Updated: Jun 17, 2020

This week the WHO has updated their guidelines, recommending shorter and fully oral treatment regimens for patients with MDR-TB

The updated regimens will allow MDR-TB patients to undergo treatment in the safety of their own homes, and in a shorter time-frame. This update is especially relevant at this time when the COVID-19 pandemic makes attending clinics for treatment a precarious concept for many patients. The WHO is hopeful that the guideline update will improve regimen adherence and treatment outcomes for patients.

The new regimen is 6-9 months long as opposed to the previous regimens which could be up to 18-20 months in duration. The new regimen incorporates a previously unused drug -- pretomanid -- to be used in combination with bedaquiline and linezolid. This regimen is recommended for operational research in MDR-TB patients with additional fluroquinolone resistance.

Further updates to the guidelines include information on the safety of bedaquiline for treatment duration greater than 6 months, and for use during pregnancy.

To read more about the guideline updates, access the WHO report here.

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