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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Tuberculosis: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Infections (Infectious Diseases)


Alternate Names : TB, Phthisis

Tuberculosis | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the infection?

Tuberculosis is treated with a combination of drugs. Isoniazid, rifampin, pyrazinamide, ethambutol and streptomycin are some of the drugs used. The number of drugs used and the choice of drugs may vary. This depends on the seriousness of the infection and the likelihood that the bacteria have become drug-resistant. Treatment is usually started with three or four drugs, which may change later in therapy. It is important that the person be monitored to see what drugs work best. Treatment usually lasts between 6 and 12 months.

What are the side effects of the treatments?

The drugs used for tuberculosis have a number of side effects ranging from nausea and vomiting to problems with vision and the liver. The specific side effects depend on the drugs prescribed.

The main side effect of isoniazid, one of the most commonly used drugs, is liver damage. The risk of this side effect appears to increase with age.

What happens after treatment for the infection?

Most people improve and can return to normal activity. Often the infection is not considered cured, but rather, controlled. The infection can reactivate in the future and cause symptoms again. However, treatment generally prevents a person from spreading the infection to others.

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Tuberculosis: Prevention & Expectations


Author: Danielle Zerr, MD
Reviewer: Adam Brochert, MD
Date Reviewed: 09/04/01

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