TB Treatment

TB Disease Treatment

How is TB disease treated?

There is good news for people with TB disease! TB disease can almost always be cured with medicine. But the medicine must be taken as the doctor or nurse tells you.

The most common drugs used to fight TB are:

  • isoniazid (INH)
  • rifampin
  • pyrazinamide
  • ethambutol
  • streptomycin

If you have TB disease, you will need to take several different drugs. This is because there are many bacteria to be killed. Taking several drugs will do a better job of killing all of the bacteria and preventing them from becoming resistant to the drugs.

If you have TB of the lungs or throat, you are probably infectious. You need to stay home from work or school so that you don't spread TB bacteria to other people. After taking your medicine for a few weeks, you will feel better and you may no longer be infectious to others. Your doctor or nurse will tell you when you can return to work or school.

Having TB should not stop you from leading a normal life. When you are no longer infectious or feeling sick, you can do the same things you did before you had TB. The medicine that you are taking should not affect your strength, sexual function, or ability to work. If you take your medicine as your doctor or nurse tells you, the medicine will kill all the TB bacteria. This will keep you from becoming sick again.

TB Infection Treatment

Many people who have TB infection never develop TB disease. But some people who have TB infection are more likely to develop TB disease than others. These people are at high risk for TB disease. They include:

  • people with HIV infection
  • people who became infected with TB bacteria in the last two years
  • babies and young children
  • people who inject drugs
  • people who are sick with other diseases that weaken the immune system
  • elderly people
  • people who were not treated correctly for TB in the past

If you have TB infection, you need to take medicine to keep from developing TB disease. This is called treatment for TB infection. There are many treatment options. You and your health care provider must decide which treatment is best for you.

It is important that you take all the pills prescribed for you so that your treatment for TB infection is effective. If you start taking medication, you will need to see your doctor or nurse on a regular schedule. They will check on how you are doing.

People who have TB infection but do not receive treatment for TB infection need to know the symptoms of TB. If they develop symptoms of TB disease later on, they should see a doctor right away.