Papers And Originals

Intermittent Chemotherapy for Tuberculosis in an Urban Community

Br Med J 1969; 1 doi: (Published 11 January 1969) Cite this as: Br Med J 1969;1:82
  1. Graham Poole,
  2. Peter Stradling


    A regimen designed for effective foolproof antituberculosis treatment, acceptable on a routine basis, was applied to all patients newly diagnosed at the Chest Clinic, Hammersmith Hospital, in 1963, 1964, and 1965. During the first three months of treatment patients received daily (six days a week) streptomycin 0.75 g. plus isoniazid 300 mg. plus sodium para-aminosalicylate (P.A.S.) 12 g. The P.A.S. was usually stopped when bacterial sensitivity reports made this possible. For a further 15 months streptomycin 1 g. plus isoniazid 600 mg. was given on three alternate days each week to complete a total of 18 months' treatment.

    Of the total of 140 patients (66% sputum-positive) 112 (80%) completed the planned 18 months with intermittent streptomycin plus isoniazid and a further eight completed treatment on alternative regimens (a total of 85%). The equivalent figures for one year are 88% and 94%. Excellent clinical and radiological results, together with sputum conversion, were achieved in 138 of the 140 patients (99%). Only two patients were lost from surveillance, because of failure to co-operate, before quiescence was obtained.

    It is concluded that the total efficiency of supervised intermittent treatment is greater than that of unsupervised daily regimens. Since 100% arrest of tuberculosis is possible with co-operative patients, less should not be accepted in developed countries.