Setting: The Matiben Chest Clinic at the West Algiers University Teaching Hospital, and 3 outpatient clinics specializing in tuberculosis and lung disease in Algiers.
Objective: To determine the tolerance and efficacy of a fixed proportion combination of 3 antituberculosis drugs (per tablet: 50 mg isoniazid + 120 mg rifampicin + 300 mg pyrazinamide) given during the first 2 months of a daily 6-month chemotherapy regimen.
Design: Random prospective treatment trial comparing a group of 124 patients receiving the triple combination with another group of 126 patients receiving the 3 drugs separately during the initial treatment phase. The continuation phase was identical for the 2 groups. Comparison of tolerance in the first 2 months, and of the failure and relapse rates (respectively at the end of treatment and 24 months after the end of treatment).
Results: During the first 2 months side-effects were significantly more common in the group receiving the drugs separately. At the end of treatment and during the following 24 months there were no significant differences in the cumulative rates of observed failures and relapses (2% and 1%).
Conclusion: The triple combination studied could replace the separate drugs in the initial treatment phase in countries where the bioavailability of the drugs used has been proven.