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Medicine Matters Home Article of the Week Four-Month Rifapentine Regimens with or without Moxifloxacin for Tuberculosis

Four-Month Rifapentine Regimens with or without Moxifloxacin for Tuberculosis

ARTICLE: Four-Month Rifapentine Regimens with or without Moxifloxacin for Tuberculosis

AUTHORS: Susan E Dorman, Payam Nahid, Ekaterina V Kurbatova, Patrick P J Phillips, Kia Bryant, Kelly E Dooley, Melissa Engle, Stefan V Goldberg, Ha T T Phan, James Hakim, John L Johnson, Madeleine Lourens, Neil A Martinson, Grace Muzanyi, Kim Narunsky, Sandy Nerette, Nhung V Nguyen, Thuong H Pham, Samuel Pierre, Anne E Purfield, Wadzanai Samaneka, Radojka M Savic, Ian Sanne, Nigel A Scott, Justin Shenje, Erin Sizemore, Andrew Vernon, Ziyaad Waja, Marc Weiner, Susan Swindells, Richard E Chaisson, AIDS Clinical Trials Group and the Tuberculosis Trials Consortium

JOURNAL: N Engl J Med. 2021 May 6;384(18):1705-1718. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2033400.


Background: Rifapentine-based regimens have potent antimycobacterial activity that may allow for a shorter course in patients with drug-susceptible pulmonary tuberculosis.

Methods: In an open-label, phase 3, randomized, controlled trial involving persons with newly diagnosed pulmonary tuberculosis from 13 countries, we compared two 4-month rifapentine-based regimens with a standard 6-month regimen consisting of rifampin, isoniazid, pyrazinamide, and ethambutol (control) using a noninferiority margin of 6.6 percentage points. In one 4-month regimen, rifampin was replaced with rifapentine; in the other, rifampin was replaced with rifapentine and ethambutol with moxifloxacin. The primary efficacy outcome was survival free of tuberculosis at 12 months.

Results: Among 2516 participants who had undergone randomization, 2343 had a culture positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis that was not resistant to isoniazid, rifampin, or fluoroquinolones (microbiologically eligible population; 768 in the control group, 791 in the rifapentine-moxifloxacin group, and 784 in the rifapentine group), of whom 194 were coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus and 1703 had cavitation on chest radiography. A total of 2234 participants could be assessed for the primary outcome (assessable population; 726 in the control group, 756 in the rifapentine-moxifloxacin group, and 752 in the rifapentine group). Rifapentine with moxifloxacin was noninferior to the control in the microbiologically eligible population (15.5% vs. 14.6% had an unfavorable outcome; difference, 1.0 percentage point; 95% confidence interval [CI], -2.6 to 4.5) and in the assessable population (11.6% vs. 9.6%; difference, 2.0 percentage points; 95% CI, -1.1 to 5.1). Noninferiority was shown in the secondary and sensitivity analyses. Rifapentine without moxifloxacin was not shown to be noninferior to the control in either population (17.7% vs. 14.6% with an unfavorable outcome in the microbiologically eligible population; difference, 3.0 percentage points [95% CI, -0.6 to 6.6]; and 14.2% vs. 9.6% in the assessable population; difference, 4.4 percentage points [95% CI, 1.2 to 7.7]). Adverse events of grade 3 or higher occurred during the on-treatment period in 19.3% of participants in the control group, 18.8% in the rifapentine-moxifloxacin group, and 14.3% in the rifapentine group.

Conclusions: The efficacy of a 4-month rifapentine-based regimen containing moxifloxacin was noninferior to the standard 6-month regimen in the treatment of tuberculosis. (Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others; Study 31/A5349 number, NCT02410772.).

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For a link to the abstract, click here.


Kelsey Bennett