Sirturo

1 What is Sirturo?

Brand: Sirturo

Generic: Bedaquiline

Sirturo (Bedaquiline) is an antibiotic approved to treat tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is an infectious and contagious disease that often affects the lungs. Doctors use Sirturo to treat tuberculosis cases that have resisted multiple drugs (MDR-TB). Sirturo is often prescribed after it is determined other medicines used before to treat the condition are not showing the wanted results, and there is no visible progress in the condition of the patient.

Sirturo is among the newest drugs approved to treat tuberculosis.Sirturo can be given to patients at least 18 years of age and older.  

You need a prescription in purchasing Sirturo.

Some patients receiving Sirturo faced increased risk of death, abnormal heart rhythms (QT prolongation), and liver problems. Sirturo can cause serious side effects and therefore must be used only with doctor’s supervision.

2 What to Know Before Using

You must consider the following first before using Sirturo:

Allergies

You cannot use Sirturo if you are allergic to it. If you do, mention it to your doctor before treatment.

Health conditions

Tell the doctor all of your health problems before using Sirturo. The doctor needs to know if you have the following medical conditions before prescribing Sirturo:

  • Heart disease, or problems in heartbeat rhythms (arrhythmias)
  • Having history or someone in the family with QT prolongation
  • Underactive thyroid disease, or having history of it
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Any abnormal ECG or EKG results
  • Electrolyte imbalance (potassium, sodium, magnesium or calcium)

Drug interactions

Make sure to tell the doctor all the medicines you take before starting treatment with Sirturo to avoid interactions. You cannot take Sirturo if you are using Bepridil, Cisapride, Pimozide, and Cobicistat.

Use on children

Do not give Sirturo to children.

Use on elderly

The effects and usefulness of Sirturo in elderly patients older than 65 years of age are not yet studied. The doctor will have to decide whether to use Sirturo on elderly patients.

Pregnancy

Sirturo is an FDA pregnancy category B drug, which means it is not known to cause serious harm to the unborn baby when given to pregnant patients. However, you should still tell the doctor if you are pregnant before taking Sirturo.

Breastfeeding

Do not breastfeed if you are taking Sirturo or have active tuberculosis.

Alcohol

Do not take alcohol if you are taking Sirturo. Alcohol can increase the risk of side effects caused by Sirturo.

Completion of treatment

It is very important to complete treatment of tuberculosis to ensure complete remission and prevent any future infections. Do not discontinue or reduce dose of Sirturo without asking the doctor. 

3 Proper Usage

Sirturo is available in tablets that you take by mouth. Your doctor will give you clear instructions in taking Sirturo. Most patients with tuberculosis are treated under TB-DOTS (directly-observed treatment) protocol so you may have to take Sirturo under the direct supervision of a health provider.  You also need to be seen by the doctor frequently to determine if tuberculosis responds to Sirturo.

Treatment with Sirturo takes 24 weeks. Sirturo (400 mg) is taken once a day for the first two weeks (weeks 1 and 2). After that, Sirturo (200 mg) is then taken three times per week for the next 22 weeks (weeks 3 to 24); you must space doses by at least 48 hours. Follow the doctor’s recommended dosage in taking Sirturo.

You must take Sirturo with food, and never take tablets on an empty stomach.  Swallow Sirturo tablets whole and do not break, chew or crush the tablets.

Missing doses of Sirturo can make tuberculosis harder to treat. If you missed a dose of Sirturo during weeks 1 and 2, do not make up for the missed dose and stick to the usual dosing schedule. If you missed a dose of Sirturo during weeks 3 to 24, take the missed dose as soon as possible and then return to original dosing. If you missed two or more doses of Sirturo, call the doctor at once.

If you took too much Sirturo, call emergency medical services at once.

Keep Sirturo at room temperature away from heat and light.

4 Precautions to Take

The success of treatment of tuberculosis lies on regular intake of medicines like Sirturo. Make sure not to miss any doses of Sirturo or discontinue without doctor’s advice. If your supply of Sirturo becomes low, refill your prescription right away.

When you have tuberculosis or taking Sirturo, you need to be seen by the doctor frequently. Make sure to keep up with clinic and lab tests while taking Sirturo.

Do not consume alcoholic beverages when taking Sirturo.

Since you will be seen by a health provider regularly, make sure to report any untoward symptom.

While taking Sirturo, do not take other medicines, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and vitamins/supplements, without calling the doctor first. 

5 Potential Side Effects

Sirturo may cause side effects that require medical attention. Call your health provider right away if you experienced any of the following side effects:

  • Severe allergic reaction symptoms such as hives, skin rash, difficulty breathing, swelling of the mouth, nose, tongue, or throat.
  • Potential liver problem symptoms such as nausea, upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, passing out dark urine or clay colored stools, itching, and jaundice
  • Any chest pain or discomfort.
  • Lightheadedness or fainting
  • Fast or irregular heartbeats
  • Coughing up blood

Sirturo may cause the following side effects that are minor and not harmful to health:

  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache
  • Skin rash
  • Pain or tenderness in the joints
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