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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Can tuberculosis medications cause nausea, fatigue and loss of appetite?

Answered by
Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar


Practicing since :2008

Answered : 14394 Questions

Posted on Fri, 5 Oct 2018 in Lung and Chest disorders
Question: Hello Doctor,
My mother is 62 years old and suffering from severe rheumatoid arthritis from last 20 years. Last year in October, she was given the course of Biologic drug etanercept weekly.
After 12 injections, she started suffering from breathlessness. Upon taking an X-Ray, little bit of fluid was found in her left lung. Doctor diagnosed it as a reactivation of latent tuberculosis after taking etanercept.

She has now been put on 6 months tuberculosis medication. She has been taking it for last 20 days.
She is suffering from extreme side effects such as nausea, loss of appetitte, extreme weakness.
It is common to have these side effects or do we need to be cautious with her symptoms. What is the further course of action in her case. Please guide.
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar 55 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Get done SGPT and Bilirubin levels.

Detailed Answer:


Some degree of side effects like burning epigastric pain, nausea, decreased appetite, bad taste etching is common after anti-tubercular drugs.

But we should definitely rule out drug induced hepatitis if these symptoms are severe.

So in my opinion, she should be checked for SGPT and Bilirubin.

If you these are normal then no need to worry for drug-induced hepatitis.

But if these reports are high then we need to modify antitubercular drugs.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
Follow up: Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar 13 minutes later
We got her LFT one week after starting the medication. It came out to be normal.

How frequently should we get her LFT, SGOT, SGPT done ?
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar 1 hour later
Brief Answer:

Ideally, it should be done after 2 weeks of starting Antitubercular drugs.

Detailed Answer:


Ideally, these tests should be done after 2 weeks of starting Antitubercular drugs.

If they are normal then no need to further recheck.

It is better to take an antacid and antiemetic drug combination on empty stomach in the morning before antitubercular drugs.

So please let me know if she'd is taking any antacid and antiemetic drug combination.

Hope I have answered your query.

Take care

Dr Kaushal Bhavsar, Pulmonologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj

The User accepted the expert's answer

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