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January 21, 1974

Medical News

JAMA. 1974;227(3):261-268. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230160001001

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Six-month courses of drugs help tuberculosis patients in African trial  Antibiotics have greatly simplified the treatment of tuberculosis but the development of an effective short-term regimen of chemotherapy for the disease has remained an elusive goal.While 12- to 18-month regimens capable of success rates of up to 95% under trial conditions have been available for years, in everyday practice the success rates have been closer to 50% and 60%—largely because so many patients drop out before the course of therapy is completed.A pioneer study in East Africa now indicates that an effective six-month course of supervised chemotherapy may indeed be possible. At the same time, a Brazilian pilot study suggests that partly supervised or entirely self-administered regimens may achieve results comparable to those of supervised therapy. Both studies were reported at the 22nd International Tuberculosis Conference in Tokyo by W. Koinange Karuga, MD, of the East African Tuberculosis Center