August 20, 2013
"An inexpensive daily pill can often fend off a lethal bout of tuberculosis [TB] in people with HIV, according to a large new study," the New York Times reports. "The study, published last week by Lancet Infectious Diseases, found that a daily isoniazid pill reduced deaths and active TB cases by 31 percent among 12,816 patients at 29 Brazilian clinics," the newspaper writes, adding that among patients who took their pills, determined through urine testing, "the effect was far greater." Side effects of the drug were minor and no patients who developed TB showed signs of drug resistance, the newspaper notes. "An editorial accompanying the study looked at several isoniazid trials and said the antibiotic worked, but only when public clinics could test patients correctly, provide pills steadily and make sure they were taken," the New York Times writes (McNeil, 8/19).
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