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Stereo, skeletal formula of ethambutol
Other names
ATC code J04
ChemSpider  Y
DrugBank  Y
EC number 200-810-26
Jmol-3D images Image
Molar mass 204.31 g·mol−1
Appearance White crystals
Odor Odourless
log P −0.291
  • B
3–4 hours
Related compounds
Related compounds
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).

Ethambutol (commonly abbreviated EMB or simply E) is a medication primarily used to treat health system.[5]


  • Medical uses 1
  • Adverse effects 2
  • Mechanism of action 3
  • Pharmacokinetics 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Medical uses

Ethambutol is used along with other medications to treat a number of infections including: tuberculosis, Mycobacterium avium complex, and Mycobacterium kansasii.[3]

Adverse effects

Mechanism of action

Ethambutol is bacteriostatic against actively growing TB bacilli. It works by obstructing the formation of cell wall. Mycolic acids attach to the 5'-hydroxyl groups of D-arabinose residues of arabinogalactan and form mycolyl-arabinogalactan-peptidoglycan complex in the cell wall. It disrupts arabinogalactan synthesis by inhibiting the enzyme arabinosyl transferase. Disruption of the arabinogalactan synthesis inhibits the formation of this complex and leads to increased permeability of the cell wall.


It is well absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and well distributed in body tissues and fluids. 50% is excreted unchanged in urine.


  1. ^ "ethambutol (CHEBI:4877)". Chemical Entities of Biological Interest. UK: European Bioinformatics Institute. 18 August 2010. Main. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  2. ^ Yendapally R, Lee RE (March 2008). "Design, synthesis, and evaluation of novel ethambutol analogues". Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 18 (5): 1607–11.  
  3. ^ a b c d e "Ethambutol Hydrochloride". The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "Prescribing medicines in pregnancy database". Australian Government. 3 March 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "WHO Model List of Essential Medicines" (PDF). World Health Organization. October 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  6. ^ Lim SA (April 2006). "Ethambutol-associated optic neuropathy" (PDF). Ann. Acad. Med. Singap. 35 (4): 274–8.  
  7. ^ Tripathi, K D (August 2015). Essentials of MEDICAL PHARMACOLOGY (Seventh ed.). India: JAYPEE BROTHERS MEDICAL PUBLISHERS. p. 769.  

External links

  • Medline Plus drug information
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