The Indian Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 78, Issue 4, pp 435–442 | Cite as

Pharmacokinetics of Anti-tuberculosis Drugs in Children

  • Geetha Ramachandran
  • A. K. Hemanth Kumar
  • Soumya SwaminathanEmail author
Symposium on Pediatric Tuberculosis


Tuberculosis (TB) is among the top 10 causes of death among children worldwide. Recent reports suggest that the currently recommended dosages of first-line anti-TB drugs are not adequate in children, particularly younger children. The objective of this review was to synthesize available pharmacokinetic data of anti-TB drugs in children from different settings that would help determine optimal doses of anti-TB drugs, in order to provide evidence-based recommendations. A PubMed database was searched from 1970 to present using the terms rifampicin, isoniazid, pyrazinamide, ethambutol, pharmacokinetics, HIV, TB, nutrition and children. References from identified articles were also reviewed and abstract from recent meetings were included. Available pharmacokinetic data from different settings suggest that age, nutritional status, HIV infection and gene polymorphisms in drug metabolising enzymes could significantly influence the pharmacokinetics of first-line anti-TB drugs. However, most of the pharmacokinetic studies conducted so far in children have failed to associate drug concentrations with treatment outcomes. Hence, more studies to examine the relationship between drug pharmacokinetics and response to anti-TB treatment are required. Studies to examine the impact of nutritional status and HIV infection on the pharmacokinetics of anti-TB drugs in children are needed.


Pharmacokinetics Children TB 



GR was involved in collection of data. GR and HK compiled the data and designed the main text of the article and tables. GR drafted the manuscript and SS provided valuable suggestions and critical inputs.

Work Done at

Department of Biochemistry & Clinical Pharmacology, Tuberculosis Research Centre (Indian Council of Medical Research), Chennai, India.

Conflict of Interest


Role of Funding Source



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Copyright information

© Dr. K C Chaudhuri Foundation 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geetha Ramachandran
    • 1
  • A. K. Hemanth Kumar
    • 1
  • Soumya Swaminathan
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Tuberculosis Research Centre (Indian Council of Medical Research)ChennaiIndia
  2. 2.UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank//WHO Special Programme for Research & Training in Tropical DiseasesGenevaSwitzerland

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