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What is Myambutol (Ethambutol) prescribed for?

Tuberculosis is a contagious infection that usually attacks the lungs, and it can spread to other parts of your body, such as the brain and the spine.  A type of bacteria, known as Mycobacterium tuberculosis is what causes the infection.

Ethambutol is often used with other medications to treat tuberculosis. What this medication is, is a antibiotic and it works in stopping the growth of the bacteria.

This medication can only treat bacterial infections. It will not work on viral infections, such as the common cold and the flu. Using this antibiotic when it is not needed may cause it not to work for any future infections.

This medication is to be taken by mouth, with or without food, and usually taken once daily or as directed by your doctor. Sometimes this medication is only taken twice a week. Just make sure to take it in whatever format your doctor has prescribed and follow their directions.

If you take any antacids that contain aluminum, take this medication at least 4 hours before the antacid. And remember the dosage is based on your weight, age, and medical condition, and your overall response to the treatment.

Continue to take this medication (and other TB medications) until the full prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms disappear. Stopping the medication too early or skipping doses may allow the bacteria to continue to grow, which may result in a return of the infection and cause the infection to be more difficult to treat (resistant).


Before taking this medication, it is best to advise your doctor if you are allergic to Ethambutol; or to any other medications or allergies in general.

Before taking this medication, it is for the best to inform you doctor of you Medical history. Especially of;  eye problems (such as optic neuritis, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy), liver disease, kidney disease, alcohol use.

Ethambutol may cause live bacterial vaccines (such as typhoid vaccine) to not work as well. Do not have any immunizations/vaccinations while using this medication unless your doctor tells you to.

Side Effects

Some of these side effects may occur when taking this medication; they are as follows; Headache, loss of appetite, upset stomach, or nausea/vomiting may occur. However if any of these effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor right away.

Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: vision changes (such as blurred/decreased vision, color blindness), symptoms of liver disease (such as persistent nausea/vomiting, unusual tiredness/weakness, severe stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine), numbness/tingling of arms/legs, toe/joint pain.

Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but serious side effects occur: mental/mood disorders (such as confusion, hallucinations), signs of a new infection (such as fever, persistent sore throat), easy bleeding/bruising.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.


What happens if I suddenly stop taking this medication?

There may be a relapse in symptoms as well as side effects. You should speak your doctor before stop taking this medication.


 What is the best dosage to take?

The diagnosis with your doctor will be able to determine the best dosage for your treatment. Work with your doctor closely for dosage and dosing schedules.


 What happens if I miss a dose?

You should take the missed dose as soon you realize you have forgotten. If the forgotten dose is closer to your next scheduled dose, take the next schedule dose to avoid overlapping in dose.


 What is the best way to store this medication?

This medication is stored at room temperature, and should be kept away from children and pets. Do not throw away this medication in the wastebasket. If you are uncertain how to dispose of this medication speak with your pharmacist for help in safely disposing of this medication

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