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All about: Isoniazid Tablets

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Generic Name: Isoniazid Tablets (eye-soe-NYE-a-zid)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.

Isoniazid has caused severe, even fatal, liver problems (eg, hepatitis). Liver problems increase with age and daily use of alcohol. Long-term liver problems or injectable drug use may increase your risk. Women, especially those who are black, Hispanic, or who have just had a baby, may also be at increased risk. Hepatitis can develop with use of Isoniazid at any time during treatment. Stop using Isoniazid and notify your doctor immediately if you develop unusual fatigue, weakness, fever that lasts longer than 3 days, general feeling of discomfort, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, dark urine, yellowing of the skin or eyes, or stomach or abdominal pain. Your doctor may decide to slowly restart isoniazid after these symptoms disappear and lab tests return to normal. People with active (acute) liver problems should not use Isoniazid. Your doctor will monitor your liver function and discuss your progress every month.


Isoniazid is used for:

Treating or preventing tuberculosis (TB). If you are using Isoniazid to treat TB, it should always be used along with another medicine.

Isoniazid is an antibacterial and anti-tuberculosis combination. It works by killing TB organisms.

Do NOT use Isoniazid if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Isoniazid or have had severe side effects from isoniazid, such as drug fever, chills, or arthritis
  • you have severe liver damage, active liver disease, or liver disease from previous use of Isoniazid

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Isoniazid:

Some medical conditions may interact with Isoniazid. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have diabetes, kidney problems, nerve problems (eg, neuropathy) or risk of nerve problems, HIV, or a history of liver problems
  • if you have a history of alcohol or other substance abuse or if you drink alcohol daily
  • if you are older than 35 years of age or you have previously had to stop taking Isoniazid

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Isoniazid. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Acetaminophen, anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), carbamazepine, hydantoins (eg, phenytoin), rifampin, theophylline, or valproic acid because side effects or toxicity may be increased by Isoniazid

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Isoniazid may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Isoniazid:

Use Isoniazid as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Isoniazid by mouth on an empty stomach at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating.
  • Take Isoniazid with a full glass of water (8 oz/240 mL).
  • Continue to use Isoniazid even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of Isoniazid, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Isoniazid.

Important safety information:

  • Check with your doctor before drinking alcohol while taking Isoniazid. Alcohol may increase the risk of liver problems.
  • While you are taking Isoniazid, eating foods that contain histamine, such as fish, tuna, sauerkraut, and yeast extract, or foods that contain tyramine, such as Chianti wines, pickled herring, fermented meats, and some cheeses, may cause flushing, chills, headaches, or serious increases in blood pressure. Obtain a complete list of foods and beverages from your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Isoniazid is effective only against TB bacteria. It is not effective for treating viral infections (eg, common cold).
  • Be sure to use Isoniazid for the full course of treatment. If you do not, the medicine may not clear up your infection completely. The bacteria could also become less sensitive to this or other medicines. This could make the infection harder to treat in the future.
  • Contact your doctor right away if stomach pain or cramps, severe diarrhea, or bloody stools occur. Do not treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor.
  • Diabetes patients - Isoniazid may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely and ask your doctor before adjusting the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Lab tests, including liver function, may be performed while you use Isoniazid. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Isoniazid with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Use Isoniazid with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Isoniazid while you are pregnant. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Isoniazid, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Isoniazid:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Mild stomach upset.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody stools; changes in vision; chills or fever; dark urine; general feeling of discomfort; joint pain or swelling; loss of appetite; memory problems; mental or mood changes; nausea; seizures; severe diarrhea; stomach pain; tingling or numbness in the hands or feet; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness; vomiting; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include blurred vision; dizziness; hallucinations; increased thirst or urination; loss of consciousness; nausea; seizures; slurred speech; vomiting.

Proper storage of Isoniazid:

Store Isoniazid between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Isoniazid out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Isoniazid, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Isoniazid is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Isoniazid. If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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