Lauren Gong * Parasites and Pestilence * ParaSITE * May 29, 2005 * Dr. Scott Smith
Isoniazid (INH), discovered in 1952, is a first line drug to treat tuberculosis and prevent disease development in people who have had exposure to Myobacterium tuberculosis. It eliminates only active, growing bacteria and therefore must be used continuously for a period of 6 to 12 months.
Because of its rapid absorbtion from the gastrointestinal tract, rapid diffusibility in all body fluids, tissues, and fluids, low toxicity, low cost, and availability, INH is the most commonly used antituberculosis drug worldwide. However because of frequent development of resistant strains of Myobacterium tuberculosis , it is not used as a single drug regimen
Patients with a positive protein positive derivative (PPD) skin test and normal chest x-ray are usually given a 6 to 9 month course of INH. Patients with active disease are normally given INH in conjunction with other antituberculosis medications.