According to the latest news the FDA has approved “Sirturo” (bedaquiline) as part of combination therapy to treat individuals and adult patients with multi-drug resistant pulmonary tuberculosis (TB). The announcement was made by the federal agency on 28, December 2012 stating that the drug meets approval criteria to be used as part of combination to treat multi-drug resistant Tuberculosis when other alternatives are not available.

Multi-drug resistant TB occurs when M. tuberculosis becomes resistant to rifampin and isonazid, two drugs that are widely being used across the globe to treat Tuberculosis. With the approval, Sirturo has become the first ever approved drug to treat multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. Sirturo works by inhibiting an enzyme needed by M. tuberculosis to replicate and spread throughout the body.

Tuberculosis occurs when the human body is infected with the bacterium “Mycobacterium Tuberculosis”. The disease usually affects the respiratory tract like lungs, trachea and bronchi of the human body and subsequently spreads into other adjoining parts. According to the reports from the federal agency Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the year of 2011, around 10, 528 people get infected and subsequently became sick due to the disease across the United States.

While briefing healthcare professionals and scientists about the move, Edward Cox, M.D., M.P.H, director of the Office of Antimicrobial Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research said “Multi-drug resistant tuberculosis poses a serious health threat throughout the world, and Sirturo provides much-needed treatment for patients who don’t have other therapeutic options available,” However, like other drugs, the drug also carries some significant risks and doctors should ensure that they use it appropriately and only in patients who don’t have other treatment options.”

Signs and symptoms of active TB include:

  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Loss of appetite
  • Coughing up blood
  • Chest pain

What is multi-drug resistant Tuberculosis?

Multi-drug resistant TB occurs when the bacteria becomes resistant to multiple drugs that are used to treat the condition. Multi-drug resistant TB develops during treatment of fully sensitive TB when the course of antibiotics is interrupted and the levels of drug in the body are insufficient to kill 100% of bacteria.

Reasons why people suffer from multi-drug resistant Tuberculosis

  • Patients may feel better and halt their complete antibiotic course
  • Drug supplies may run out or become scarce leading to sudden halt of the treatment
  • Patients may forget to take their medication from time to time or patients do not receive effective therapy.