This review sought to identify the available scientific evidence on risk factors associated with adverse reactions to antituberculosis drugs. We performed a systematic review of studies published in the 1965-2012 period and indexed in the MEDLINE and LILACS databases. A total of 1,389 articles were initially selected. After reading their abstracts, we selected 85 studies. Of those 85 studies, 16 were included in the review. Risk factors for adverse reactions to antituberculosis drugs included age > 60 years, treatment regimens, alcoholism, anemia, and HIV co-infection, as well as sodium, iron, and albumin deficiency. Protective factors against hepatic adverse effects of antituberculosis drugs included being male (combined OR = 0.38; 95% CI: 0.20-0.72) and showing a rapid/intermediate N-acetyltransferase 2 acetylator phenotype (combined OR = 0.41; 95% CI: 0.18-0.90). There is evidence to support the need for management of adverse reactions to antituberculosis drugs at public health care facilities.