By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Generic Name: Ethionamide Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.


What is ethionamide used for?

Ethionamide is an antibacterial agent. It is commonly used for treating tuberculosis (TB) infections in combination with other medicines. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

How should I take ethionamide?

To use tablet:

  • Take this product by mouth as directed. Follow all directions on the product package.
  • If you are uncertain about any of the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

How do I store ethionamide?

Ethionamide is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store ethionamide in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of ethionamide that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.          You should not flush ethionamide down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using ethionamide?

Do not use ethionamide if:

  • You are allergic to any ingredient in ethionamide.
  • You are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement.

Before using this drug, you should know that:

  • Ethionamide may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting. Alcohol, hot weather, exercise, and fever can increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Also, sit or lie down at the first sign of dizziness, lightheadedness, or weakness.
  • Ethionamide may cause increased sensitivity to the sun. Avoid exposure to the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to ethionamide. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for a prolonged period.
  • Ethionamide is effective only against bacteria. It is not effective for treating viral infections (e.g., the common cold).
  • It is important to use ethionamide for the full course of treatment. Failure to do so may decrease the effectiveness of ethionamide and may increase the risk that the bacteria will no longer be sensitive to ethionamide and will not be able to be treated by this or certain other antibiotics in the future.
  • You may be required to take a vitamin B supplement while taking ethionamide.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. This medication is pregnancy risk category C, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from ethionamide?

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:

  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Increased salivation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Metallic taste
  • Mouth sores
  • Nausea
  • Restlessness
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss

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

  • Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue)
  • Change in sense of smell
  • Depression
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Low blood sugar (e.g., increased heartbeat, headache, chills, sweating, tremor, increased hunger, changes in vision, nervousness, weakness, dizziness, drowsiness, fainting)
  • Tingling of hands or feet
  • Vision changes (e.g., loss of vision)
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.


What drugs may interact with ethionamide?

Ethionamide may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with ethionamide?

Ethionamide may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with ethionamide?

Ethionamide may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

These health conditions are:

  • Diabetes
  • Liver problems
  • Vision problems


The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using ethionamide.

What is the dose of ethionamide for an adult?


The recommended dose is 15 to 20 mg/kg/day; initiate dose at 250 mg daily for 1 to 2 days, then increase to 250 mg twice daily for 1 to 2 days, with gradual increases to highest tolerated dose.

What is the dose of ethionamide for a child?


The recommended dose is 10 to 20 mg/kg/day in 2 to 3 divided doses or 15 mg/kg/day as a single daily dose.

Ethionamide should not be used in children younger than 12 years of age. Safety and effectiveness in this age group have not been confirmed. In some cases, use in children may be warranted if other medicines are not effective or are not tolerated.

How is ethionamide available?

Ethionamide is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Oral tablet Ethionamide (250mg)

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of ethionamide, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: January 13, 2017 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019

You might also like