The Web Health



Generic name:Ethambutol (elthAM-blue tol)
brand name:Myambutol
Form of dosage:
oral tablet (100mg; 400mg)
Class of drugs: antituberculosis agents

What is Ethambutol?

Ethambutol, an anti-tuberculous drug, prevents the growth of tuberculous bacteria within the body.Ethambutol can be used in the treatment of tuberculosis. It is often given with other tuberculosis medicines.Ethambutol can be used in other ways not mentioned in the medication guide.

Side effects of Ethambutol

If you experience any of the following symptoms of an allergic response, seek immediate medical attention: difficulty breathing, hives, swelling in your lips, face, throat, or tongue.

Ethambutol may cause vision problems that are permanent.

  • Blurred vision, or difficulty focusing.
  • Loss of vision for an hour in either eye;
  • Increased sensitivity to light in your eyes;
  • Loss of color perception;
  • Pain behind the eyes or pain when moving your eye

Ethambutol can cause severe side effects. If you experience:

  • New or worsening Cough with fever;
  • Numbness or tingling of hands and feet.
  • Confusion, hallucinations;
  • Fever, swelling of the glands and skin, sores on the mouth or lips, symptoms of colds or flu, and a general feeling of being unwell;
  • Easy bruising and bleeding (nosebleeds or bleeding gums)
  • Chest pain or shortness of breath after mild exercise;
  • Little or no urinating is acceptable.
  • Jaundice (yellowing skin or eyes) or upper stomach pain
  • Severe skin reaction: fever, sore neck, swelling of the tongue or face, eye pain, and burning, then a reddish or purple skin rash that spreads to other parts (especially the face and upper body), causing blistering and skin peeling.

Ethambutol can cause a number of side effects.

  • Rash or itching
  • Nausea, vomiting, stomach pains, indigestion, and loss of appetite.

There may be other side effects. For medical advice on side effects, call your doctor.Report side effects by calling the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Ethambutol may cause irreversible or serious vision impairment.

Before you take this drug

If you have an allergy to ethambutol, it is best not to use the drug. If you suffer from optic neuritis, an inflammation of the nerve fibers behind your eyeballs, then you may be unable to use ethambutol. If you suffer from an eye condition, your doctor will determine if this is the right treatment for you.Ethambutol may cause problems with your vision, which could be an indication that you need to stop using the medication. If you are unable to recognize any change in your vision or report it, then you may be prohibited from taking ethambutol. Children or patients who are debilitated may be unable to report vision issues.

Tell your doctor about any of the following to ensure that ethambutol will not harm you:

  • Eye diseases, such as uveitis and iritis.
  • Diabetes can cause eye problems.
  • Cataracts;
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease

FDA pregnancy class Ethambutol is unknown to cause harm to an unborn child. If you plan to get pregnant or are already pregnant, tell your doctor.Ethambutol may pass through breast milk, causing harm to a baby who is nursing. You should tell your doctor that you are breastfeeding a child.Ethambutol shouldn't be administered to children younger than 13.

How to take Ethambutol?

Please follow all the instructions on the prescription label. Your doctor will occasionally adjust your dosage to ensure you achieve the best possible results. Take ethambutol only at the recommended dose. Do not exceed this amount or take it for longer.If you've ever taken tuberculosis medication, tell your doctor. If you've been treated before for tuberculosis, your dose might be different.Ethambutol can be taken either with or without food.Ethambutol can be taken along with food to settle your stomach.Inform your doctor of any weight changes.Ethambutol dosages depend on your weight, and you may need to adjust them.You will have to check your vision frequently while taking ethambutol. Bring your glasses to the vision test.You may need your blood, kidney, and liver functions tested.

You should take this medication for as long as prescribed. You may experience improvement in your symptoms before you have completely recovered from the virus. You may increase the risk of a second infection resistant to antibiotics if you skip doses. Ethambutol does not work on a virus, such as the flu or common cough.Sometimes, a combination drug is used to treat tuberculosis. Follow your doctor's instructions when taking any medication. Each medication comes with a patient instruction guide or medication guide. You should not alter your medication or dose without consulting your doctor.Keep away from heat and moisture. Store at room temperature.

What happens if I miss the dose?

As soon as possible, take the missed dose. If your next dose is due soon, don't take an extra one just yet. If this has happened to you, try and get back on schedule by postponing it.You should not take more medicine to compensate for a missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Call 1-800-222-1222 for poison help or seek immediate medical attention.

What should be avoided?

Avoid taking antacids containing aluminum (Alternagel Maalox Mi-Acid Mylanta Rulox). Do not take them within four hours of taking ethambutol. Antacids may make it more difficult for you to absorb ethambutol.

Interaction with other drug

Ethambutol may also interact with other drugs, such as prescription medicines, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal products. Inform your healthcare providers of all the medicines that you are currently taking and those you plan to start using.



Prescription only

Pregnancy & Lactation

CSA Schedule*
Related Drugs
Related Stories