Old medicine cures multi-resistant tuberculosis

RNW archive

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A cheap medicine used in recent years as an anti-psychotic drug for schizophrenia patients appears to work against multi-resistant TBC. Researchers from Nijmegen’s St Radboud University Medical Centre announced the discovery it made with the Dutch National Institute for Public Health on Thursday. They are eager to launch follow up studies.

The current medication hardly works against multi-resistant tuberculosis any more. Every year, around half a million people in the world contract this form of the disease, most of them in poor countries.

The drug thioridazine was brought onto the market as an antibiotic in the 1950s. Scientists have found that the drug cures mice with tuberculosis, but the disease does not build up multi-resistance. They think it will take a couple of years before the medicine can be used against TBC.


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