Sirturo is a medicine prescribed to treat tuberculosis when the disease has become resistant to certain other medications. It works by blocking an enzyme the bacteria need to survive and replicate. Side effects can include nausea, headaches, and joint pain. This medication comes as a tablet that is taken once a day for 2 weeks and then three times a week for 22 more weeks.
What Is Sirturo?
Sirturo™ (bedaquiline) is a prescription medication approved to treat multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) in combination with other tuberculosis medications. Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis is tuberculosis that is resistant to at least isoniazid and rifampin (Rifadin®), two of the main drugs used to treat the disease. Sirturo is reserved for use in people who do not have other treatment options.
Sirturo is made by Kemwell Pvt., Ltd., for Janssen Therapeutics.
How Does Sirturo Work?
Sirturo works by blocking an enzyme known as adenosine-5'-triphosphate (ATP) synthase. This enzyme is essential for creating energy that Mycobacterium tuberculosis (the bacteria that causes TB) needs to survive. By blocking this enzyme, Sirturo prevents the bacteria from getting the energy it needs to survive and replicate.
In clinical studies, Sirturo has been shown to rid the sputum (mucus coughed up from the lungs) from M. tuberculosis. In these studies, people with multidrug-resistant TB were given either Sirturo or a placebo -- both treatments were taken along with other tuberculosis medications. Researchers then looked at how long it took the people to have sputum that did not contain M. tuberculosis.
In one study, people given Sirturo had sputum that was free from M. tuberculosis in 83 days, compared with 125 days for people taking a placebo. Also, 77.6 percent of those given Sirturo had M. tuberculosis-free sputum after 24 weeks of treatment, compared with 57.6 percent of those given a placebo.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Tuberculosis (March 12, 2012). CDC Web site. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/tb/topic/basics/default.htm. Accessed May 20, 2013.
Schoenstadt, A. Tuberculosis (August 26, 2008). eMedTV Web site. Available at: http://tuberculosis.emedtv.com/tuberculosis/tuberculosis.html. Accessed May 20, 2013.
United States Food and Drug Administration. FDA news release (December 31, 2012). FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm333695.htm. Accessed April 20, 2013.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed April 20, 2013.
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