Official publication of Rawalpindi Medical University
Ethambutol Induced Ocular Toxicity in Patients Receiving “Directly Observed Treatment Short-Course” Therapy

How to Cite

Uzma Ali Kant, Maria Zubair, Ali Raza, Fuad A K Niazi, Anum Badar, Maimoona Mohsin. Ethambutol Induced Ocular Toxicity in Patients Receiving “Directly Observed Treatment Short-Course” Therapy. JRMC [Internet]. 2021 Dec. 31 [cited 2024 Jun. 15];25(4). Available from:


Background: To determine the frequency of Ocular toxicity due to Ethambutol in Category-1 patients after receiving DOTS therapy.
Methods: Category-1 tuberculosis patients of 15-60 years (both gender) with normal ocular parameters on ophthalmological assessment at time of initiation of DOTS therapy were included in the study. A total of 242 eyes (121 patients) were studied for any change in the vision or occurrence of any other ocular symptom while on the Ethambutol treatment. Each patient was followed up for Ethambutol compliance status at the completion of one month and again at two months of treatment, all the ophthalmological assessments for ocular toxicity were repeated for every selected patient. Category-2 patients with sputum smear positive who have relapsed, who have treatment failure or who are receiving treatment after treatment interruption were excluded from the study.
The patient’s information was gathered on a specifically designed proforma. The information on the proforma was filled by the researchers themselves.
Results: Out of 121 patients (242 eyes), 64 (52.9%) were males and 57 (47.1%) were females. There was no sign of ocular toxicity after a month period. However, after second month ocular toxicity was developed in 02 (1.65%) of the patients. Besides, decrease in visual acuity, color vision abnormalities, decrease in contrast sensitivity, and optic disc abnormalities were also observed in these 02 patients.
Conclusion: There is a possibility of the occurrence of ocular toxicity when the Ethambutol is taken by the tuberculosis patients. Thus, the early identification of ocular symptoms and signs is vital to avoid unnecessary delay in diagnosis and probable irreversible visual loss.