Prescription under medical supervision

Therapeutic action

– First line antituberculous antibacterial (bacteriostatic activity)


– Treatment of tuberculosis, in combination with other antituberculous antibacterials

Forms and strengths

– 100 mg and 400 mg tablets


– Child under 30 kg: 20 mg/kg (15 to 25 mg/kg daily) once daily
– Child over 30 kg and adult: 15 mg/kg (15 to 25 mg/kg daily) once daily
– Maximum dose: 1200 mg daily


– According to protocol

Contra-indications, adverse effects, precautions

– Do not administer to patients with severe renal impairment or pre-existing optic neuritis (e.g. diabetic retinopathy).
– Reduce the dose in patients with renal impairment (15 to 25 mg/kg 3 times weekly).
– May cause: retrobulbar optic neuritis. Patients should be warned that they must immediately stop treatment and seek medical attention in the event of visual disturbances such as blurred vision, reduced visual acuity, blind spot (scotoma), green-red colour blindness. Visual alterations are usually reversible a few weeks after stopping ethambutol.
– The dosage must be carefully adjusted to the body weight (adverse effects are dose-dependant), especially for children under 5 years, as it is more difficult to detect visual alterations at this age.
Pregnancy: no contra-indication
Breast-feeding: no contra-indication


For patients sensitive to first-line antituberculous treatment, ethambutol is given as part of a fixed dose combination (isoniazid+rifampicin+pyrazinamide+ethambutol or isoniazid+ethambutol).
 Storage: below 25 °C -  -