Toxicity of first-line drugs for treatment of tuberculosis in children: review

Trop Med Int Health. 2009 Nov;14(11):1329-37. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3156.2009.02375.x. Epub 2009 Sep 7.


Objective: To determine the frequency and manifestations of adverse events associated with recommended first-line anti-TB drugs in children.

Method: Literature review.

Results: Overall, children tolerate anti-TB drugs very well when using currently recommended dosages. Serious adverse events are rare and even mild symptoms such as nausea or vomiting are uncommon. There are occasional case reports of severe hepatotoxicity.

Conclusions: Surveillance and reporting of adverse events will need to be improved when recommended dosages of the main first-line anti-TB therapy for children are increased. Co-morbidities such as HIV infection and severe malnutrition may affect the incidence and complicate the management of possible adverse events to anti-TB therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antitubercular Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antitubercular Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / complications
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / complications
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / drug therapy*
  • World Health Organization


  • Antitubercular Agents