Setting: Alcohol use increases the risk of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and poses challenges for successful MDR-TB treatment, including the potential for additional adverse events.
Aim: To investigate the association between alcohol consumption during MDR-TB treatment and adverse events and treatment outcomes in a cohort of patients in Tomsk, Russia.
Design: From 2000 to 2004, retrospective data were collected on 407 MDR-TB patients in Tomsk. Factors associated with treatment outcomes were assessed using logistic regression.
Results: Of the 407 patients, 253 (62.2%) consumed alcohol during treatment ('drinkers'), and 367 (90.2%) had at least one documented adverse advent. No significant differences were noted in frequency of adverse events in drinkers vs. non-drinkers. Drinkers had less favourable treatment outcomes (OR 0.28, 95%CI 0.18-0.45). Among drinkers, favourable treatment outcome was associated with adherence to at least 80% of prescribed doses (OR 2.89, 95%CI 1.30-6.43) and the occurrence of an adverse event requiring treatment interruption (OR 2.49, 95%CI 1.11-5.59).
Conclusions: Alcohol use did not appear to increase the risk of adverse events during MDR-TB treatment; however, alcohol consumption was associated with poor outcome. Our findings suggest that individuals who drink alcohol should receive aggressive attention to optimise treatment adherence and manage adverse events.