Multidrug resistant tuberculosis (MDRTB) is a growing problem worldwide. It is an emerging problem in Sri Lanka too although the exact data are not known. This report describes treatment and outcome of 14 MDRTB patients. All have had previous anti-tuberculosis treatment. Out of 32 previous treatment episodes, treatment has been either irregular or defaulted in 26(81%), which has largely contributed to the emergence of drug resistance.
Treatment commenced with a combination of second line anti-tuberculosis drugs, namely, amikacin, ciprofloxacin, ethionamide, clofazimine and pyrazinamide. Four patients were considered cured, another four failed treatment, five defaulted treatment and one died. Previous sensitivity to second line drugs and proper isolation facilities were not available.
Preparedness to face the threat of MDRTB is essential. Measures should be taken to reduce the rate of defaulters of anti-tuberculosis treatment, and facilities to treat MDRTB should be expanded.