In clinical studies, bedaquiline has been shown to rid the sputum (mucus coughed up from the lungs) of M. tuberculosis. In these studies, people with multidrug-resistant TB were given either bedaquiline 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 bedaquiline 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 bedaquiline had M. tuberculosis-free sputum after 24 weeks of treatment, compared with 57.6 percent of those given a placebo.
Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with bedaquiline include the following:
- Bedaquiline comes in the form of a tablet. It is usually taken by mouth once a day for two weeks and then three times a week for 22 more weeks.
- This medication should be taken with food and water.
- Do not cut, crush, or chew the tablets. They must be swallowed whole.
- Bedaquiline is taken in combination with other tuberculosis medicines. Make sure you understand the instructions for taking these other products as well.
- You should not drink alcohol during bedaquiline treatment.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. It will not work to treat your infection if you do not take it, or take less than the full course. Also, missing doses or not taking the entire course of treatment may increase the risk that the bacteria will become resistant to bedaquiline or other tuberculosis medications.