Repurposing drugs for treatment of tuberculosis: A role for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Arundhati Maitra, Sadcrossed D.Sign Bates, Monisha Shaik, DImitrios Evangelopoulos, Ibrahim Abubakar, Timothy D. McHugh, Marc Lipman, Sanjib Bhakta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction The number of cases of drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis (TB), has risen rapidly in recent years. This has led to the resurgence in repurposing existing drugs, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), for anti-TB treatment. Sources of data Evidence from novel drug screening in vitro, in vivo, pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamics analyses and clinical trials has been used for the preparation of this systematic review of the potential of NSAIDs for use as an adjunct in new TB chemotherapies. Areas of agreement Certain NSAIDs have demonstrated inhibitory properties towards actively replicating, dormant and drug-resistant clinical isolates of M. tuberculosis cells. Areas of controversy NSAIDs are a diverse class of drugs, which have reported off-target activities, and their endogenous antimicrobial mechanism(s) of action is still unclear. Growing points It is essential that clinical trials of NSAIDs continue, in order to assess their suitability for addition to the current TB treatment regimen. Repurposing molecules such as NSAIDs is a vital, low-risk strategy to combat the trend of rapidly increasing antibiotic resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-148
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Medical Bulletin
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Author 2016.


  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Carprofen
  • Drug repurposing
  • Mycobacterium
  • NSAIDs
  • Tuberculosis


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