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Fluoroquinolones Halt Multidrug-Resistant-TB in Contacts

FQN preventive therapy linked to health system savings and lower mortality versus no therapy

THURSDAY, July 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) — For contacts of individuals with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), fluoroquinolone (FQN) therapy is associated with health system savings and reduced mortality, according to a study published in the July 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Gregory J. Fox, M.D., Ph.D., from the Montreal Chest Unit in McGill University, and colleagues examined the potential benefits, risks, and cost-effectiveness of FQN therapy to prevent TB in contacts of individuals with MDR-TB. Decision analysis was used to compare costs and outcomes associated with no treatment versus a six-month daily FQN course in contacts of those with MDR-TB.

The researchers found that there were health system savings, lower incidence of MDR-TB, and lower mortality for FQN preventive therapy versus no treatment. With FQN therapy of infected contacts, the incidence of MDR-TB with acquired FQN resistance would also be lower.

“In our model, FQN preventive therapy resulted in substantial health system savings and in reduced mortality, incidence of MDR-TB, and incidence of acquired FQN-resistant disease as well as improved quality of life,” the authors write. “FQN therapy remained cost saving with improved outcomes even if the effectiveness of therapy in preventing MDR-TB was as low as 10 percent.”

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