The introduction of the nine-month short-treatment regimen (STR) has drastically improved outcomes of rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis (RR-TB) treatment. Adverse events (AE) commonly occur, including injectable-induced hearing loss. In Burundi we retrospectively assessed the frequency of adverse events and treatment modifications in all patients who initiated the STR between 2013-2017. Among 225 included patients, 93% were successfully treated without relapse, 5% died, 1% was lost-to-follow-up, 0.4% had treatment failure and 0.4% relapsed after completion. AE were reported in 53%, with grade 3 or 4 AE in 4% of patients. AE occurred after a median of two months. Hepatotoxicity (31%), gastro-intestinal toxicity (22%) and ototoxicity (10%) were most commonly reported. One patient suffered severe hearing loss. Following AE, 7% of patients had a dose reduction and 1% a drug interruption. Kanamycin-induced ototoxicity led to 94% of modifications. All 18 patients with a modified regimen were cured relapse-free. In this exhaustive national RR-TB cohort, RR-TB was treated successfully with the STR. Adverse events were infrequent. To replace the present STR, all-oral regimens should be at least as effective and also less toxic. During and after transition, monitoring, management, and documentation of AE will remain essential.
- multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis
- short treatment regimen