Ethambutol hydrochloride is an antibacterial prescription medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of active tuberculosis (TB) disease. Ethambutol hydrochloride is always used in combination with at least one other anti-TB medicine. Active TB disease is an opportunistic infection. An opportunistic infection is an infection that occurs more frequently or is more severe in people with weakened immune systems—such as those infected with HIV—than in people with healthy immune systems.
Ethambutol hydrochloride can also be used “off-label” to prevent and treat other opportunistic infections of HIV infection. “Off-label” use refers to use of an FDA-approved medicine in a manner different from that described on the medicine label. Good medical practice and the best interests of a patient sometimes require that a medicine be used “off-label.”
The Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in HIV-Infected Adults and Adolescents, prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the HIV Medicine Association of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA-HIVMA), includes recommendations on the HIV-related uses of ethambutol hydrochloride to:
Before taking ethambutol hydrochloride, tell your health care provider:
Ask your health care provider about possible side effects from ethambutol hydrochloride. Your health care provider will tell you what to do if you have side effects.
Take ethambutol hydrochloride according to your health care provider’s instructions. Your health care provider will tell you how much ethambutol hydrochloride to take and when to take it. Before you start ethambutol hydrochloride and each time you get a refill, read any printed information that comes with your medicine.
More information about ethambutol hydrochloride is available:
Last Reviewed: May 7, 2013
Last Updated: May 7, 2013