Adverse Events Associated With the Treatment of Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Am J Ther. 2016 Mar-Apr;23(2):e521-30. doi: 10.1097/01.mjt.0000433951.09030.5a.


Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is a growing public health problem. Due to long duration of therapy and concurrent use of multiple second-line drugs, adverse drug events (ADEs) are regarded as the most important clinical consideration in patients undergoing anti-MDR-TB treatment. To evaluate the frequency and type of treatment-related ADEs owing to MDR-TB therapy. The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, and EMBASE were searched from inception through October 1, 2012, with additional manual search of International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. Studies with available ADEs were selected if MDR-TB patients were treated with regimen including second-line drugs. Pooled estimations of incidence for each specific type of ADEs were calculated with 95% confidence intervals using random-effects model. Of the 5346 patients included, 2602 (57.3%) experienced at least 1 kind of ADE. The 3 most common side effects were gastrointestinal disorders (32.1%), ototoxicity (14.6%), and psychiatric disorders (13.2%). Subgroup analyses based on each characteristic (study population, previous tuberculosis treated, human immunodeficiency virus prevalence, and length of treatment) did not show any significant difference between groups. Additionally, among 1519 patients who developed ADEs with available data of impact on MDR-TB therapy, 70.4% required change of MDR-TB treatment. Adverse events were common among MDR-TB cases, occurring in more than half of the cases, with over two-thirds requiring change of anti-MDR-TB treatment. MDR-TB patients should be monitored closely and managed aggressively for side effects during therapy, especially for ototoxicity and psychiatric disorders.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Antitubercular Agents / adverse effects*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Humans
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant / drug therapy


  • Antitubercular Agents