TUBERSOL- tuberculin purified protein derivative injection, solution
A-S Medication Solutions

AHFS Category: 36:84

Rx only

Diagnostic Antigen

(Aid in the detection of infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis)


Polysorbate 80 Stabilized Solution of Tuberculin Purified Protein Derivative for Tuberculin Testing in Humans


TUBERSOL® Tuberculin Purified Protein Derivative (Mantoux) (PPD) (1) for intradermal tuberculin testing is prepared from a large Master Batch Connaught Tuberculin (CT68) (2) and is a cell-free purified protein fraction obtained from a human strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis grown on a protein-free synthetic medium and inactivated. (2) The use of a standard preparation derived from a single batch (CT68) has been adopted in order to eliminate batch to batch variation by the same manufacturer. (2)

TUBERSOL is a clear, colorless liquid.

TUBERSOL contains:
Purified protein derivative of M. tuberculosis 5 TU per 0.1 mL
Polysorbate 80 0.0006%
Phenol 0.22% to 0.35% w/v
in sterile isotonic phosphate buffered saline.

Before release, each successive lot is tested for potency in comparison with the US Standard Tuberculin PPD-S. (3)

Independent studies conducted by the US Public Health Service in humans have determined the amount of CT68 in stabilized solution necessary (4) (5) (6) to produce bio-equivalency with Tuberculin PPD-S (in phosphate buffer without polysorbate 80) using 5 US units (TU) Tuberculin PPD-S as the standard.


Mechanism of Action

The sensitization following infection with mycobacteria occurs primarily in the regional lymph nodes. Small lymphocytes (T lymphocytes) proliferate in response to the antigenic stimulus to give rise to specifically sensitized lymphocytes. After 3-8 weeks, these lymphocytes enter the blood stream and circulate for years. (7) Subsequent restimulation of these sensitized lymphocytes with the same or a similar antigen, such as the intradermal injection of TUBERSOL, evokes a local reaction mediated by these cells. (8)

Characteristically, delayed hypersensitivity reactions to tuberculin begin at 5 to 6 hours, are maximal at 48 to 72 hours and subside over a period of days. The resultant immune response consists of induration due to cell infiltration and occasionally vesiculation and necrosis. Clinically, a delayed hypersensitivity reaction to tuberculin is a manifestation of previous infection with M tuberculosis or a variety of non-tuberculosis bacteria. In most cases sensitization is induced by natural mycobacterial infection or by vaccination with BCG Vaccine.


TUBERSOL Tuberculin Purified Protein Derivative (Mantoux), is indicated to aid diagnosis of tuberculosis infection (TB) in persons at increased risk of developing active disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have published guidelines regarding populations that would benefit from tuberculin skin testing (TST). Current recommendations can be accessed at:

Previous BCG vaccination is not a contraindication to tuberculin testing. The skin-test results of BCG vaccinated persons can be used to support or exclude the diagnosis of TB infection. However, an FDA-approved interferon gamma release assay is preferred over tuberculin skin test for persons 5 years of age and older who were previously vaccinated with BCG. (9)


Allergy to any component of TUBERSOL or an anaphylactic or other allergic reaction to a previous test of tuberculin PPD is a contraindication to the use of TUBERSOL. (See DESCRIPTION and HOW SUPPLIED.)

TUBERSOL should not be administered to:

  • Persons who have had a severe reaction (e.g., necrosis, blistering, anaphylactic shock or ulcerations) to a previous TST,
  • Persons with documented active tuberculosis or a clear history of treatment for TB infection or disease, (10)
  • Persons with extensive burns or eczema.



Allergic reactions may occur following the use of TUBERSOL even in persons with no prior history of hypersensitivity to the product components. (11) Epinephrine injection (1:1,000) and other appropriate agents used for the control of immediate allergic reactions must be immediately available.


Syncope (fainting) can occur in association with administration of injectable medicines, including TUBERSOL. Procedures should be in place to avoid falling injury and to restore cerebral perfusion following syncope.



Diagnostic Limitations

False positive or false negative tuberculin skin test reactions may occur in some individuals. (See Interpretation of the Test.)

False positive tuberculin reaction tests occur in individuals who have been infected with other mycobacteria, including vaccination with BCG.

Not all infected persons will have a delayed hypersensitivity reaction to a tuberculin test.

Many factors have been reported to cause a decreased ability to respond to the tuberculin test in the presence of tuberculous infection. (See Interpretation of the Test.)

Information for Patients

Prior to administration of TUBERSOL, the patient’s current health status and medical history should be reviewed. The physician should review the patient’s immunization history for possible sensitivity to components of TUBERSOL.

The healthcare provider should inform the patient of the need to return for the reading of the test. Self-reading of the test has been shown to be inaccurate and unreliable.

The healthcare provider should give the patient a permanent personal record. In addition, it is essential that the health professional record the testing history in the permanent medical record of each patient. This permanent office record should contain the name of the product, date given, dose, manufacturer and lot number, as well as the test result in millimeters of induration (including 0 mm, if appropriate). Reporting results only as negative or positive is not satisfactory.

Drug Interactions

Reactivity to the test may be depressed or suppressed in persons who are receiving corticosteroids or immunosuppressive agents. (8)

Reactivity to TUBERSOL may be temporarily depressed by certain live virus vaccines (measles, mumps, rubella, oral polio, yellow fever, and varicella). If a parenteral live attenuated virus vaccine has been administered recently, tuberculin testing should be delayed for >1 month after vaccination. (8) (12) (See Interpretation of the Test.)

When tuberculin screening is required at the same time as a measles-containing vaccine or other parenteral live attenuated virus vaccine, simultaneous administration of TUBERSOL and the vaccine at separate sites is the preferred option.


TUBERSOL has not been evaluated for its carcinogenic or mutagenic potentials or impairment of fertility.


Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with TUBERSOL. It is also not known whether TUBERSOL can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity. TUBERSOL should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether TUBERSOL is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when TUBERSOL is administered to a nursing woman.

Pediatric Use

There is no contraindication to tuberculin skin testing of infants. Infants <6 months of age who are infected with M. tuberculosis may not react to TUBERSOL. (See Interpretation of the Test.)

Geriatric Use

Clinical studies of TUBERSOL did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects.

Adverse Reactions to TUBERSOL

Induration at the TUBERSOL injection site is the expected reaction for a positive skin test. (See Interpretation of the Test.)

The information pertaining to adverse events has been compiled from historical clinical studies and post-marketing experience with TUBERSOL.

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