High-carb meals may reduce the effectiveness of your TB meds

It’s hard enough to accept that one has TB, but did you know that when you decide to eat can affect the efficacy of your treatment wikto scanner? A new study suggests that if you eat just before taking your TB medication, it can cut down on your medicine’s effects, especially if you’re in the early stages of treatment – it’s a tough pill to swallow.

The impact on South Africa

South Africa has one of the worst TB epidemics in the world, with the World Health Organisation reporting that in 2011, there were over half a million TB related deaths; if this study is correct, this could result in more deaths occurring.

How the study worked

  • A group of patients who were about to start their TB treatment were given their usual course of drugs (isoniazid, rifampicin, pyrazinamide and ethambutol.)
  • The drugs were given over a 3-day period: Day 1 – injection and days 2-3, taken orally.
  • Blood samples were taken from each person and the results showed that when the drugs were given with a high-carb meal, there was a lower concentration of three of the four drugs in the blood, compared with when they were given their medicine in a fasting state.


Dr Antonia Morita Iswari, from Indonesia, said that the only thing that changed for the people in the study was the meals – everything else was the same – which means that food can have an impact on the concentration of the drugs in the blood.

This means that those taking TB medication will now need to adjust their eating schedule to make sure they receive optimal benefits from the treatment.

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Source: iol.co.za