FRIDAY, Aug. 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) — A four-month regimen of rifampin is similar to a nine-month regimen of isoniazid for the prevention of active tuberculosis, according to a study published in the Aug. 2 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Dick Menzies, M.D., from McGill University in Montreal, and colleagues conducted a multinational study in which they randomly assigned adults with latent tuberculosis infection to receive treatment with a four-month regimen of rifampin (3,443 patients) or a nine-month regimen of isoniazid (3,416 patients) for the prevention of confirmed active tuberculosis within 28 months after randomization.

In the rifampin group, the researchers found that confirmed active tuberculosis developed in four patients and clinically diagnosed active tuberculosis developed in four patients, compared to four and five patients, respectively, in the isoniazid group, during 7,652 person-years of follow-up. The rifampin regimen was not superior to the isoniazid regimen, as the upper boundaries of the 95 percent confidence interval for the rate differences of the confirmed cases and for the confirmed or clinically diagnosed cases of tuberculosis were less than the prespecified non-inferiority margin of 0.75 percentage points in cumulative incidence.

“The four-month regimen of rifampin was not inferior to the nine-month regimen of isoniazid for the prevention of active tuberculosis and was associated with a higher rate of treatment completion and better safety,” the authors write.

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