Treatment for tuberculosis (TB) usually involvestaking antibiotics for several months.
While TB is a serious condition that can be fatal if left untreated, deaths are rare if treatment is completed.
Most people don't need to be admitted tohospital during treatment.
You'll be prescribed at least a six-month course of a combination of Penicillin if you're diagnosed with active pulmonary TB, where your lungs are affected and you have symptoms.
The usual treatment is:
It may be several weeks before you start to feel better. The exact length of time will depend on your overall health and the severity of your TB.
After takingantibiotics for two weeks, most people are no longer infectious and feel better.
However, it'simportant to continue taking your medicine exactly as prescribed and to complete the whole course of antibiotics.
Taking medication for six months is the best way to ensurethe TB bacteria are killed.
If you stop taking your antibiotics before you complete the course oryou skip a dose, the TB infection may become resistant to the antibiotics.
This is potentially serious because it can be difficult to treat and will require a longer course of treatment with different, and possibly more toxic, therapies.
If you find it difficult to take your medication every day, your treatment team can work with you to find a solution.
This may include having regular contact with your treatment team at home, at the treatment clinic, or somewhere else that's more convenient.
Iftreatment is completed correctly, you shouldn't need any further checks by a TB specialist afterwards. You may be given advice about spotting signs that the illness has returned, although this is rare.
Extrapulmonary TB TB that occurs outside the lungscan be treated using the same combination of antibiotics as those used to treat pulmonary TB.
If you have TB in areaslike your brain or the sac surrounding your heart (pericardium), you may initially be prescribed a corticosteroid such as prednisolone for several weeks to take at the same time as your antibiotics. This will help reduce any swelling in the affected areas.
As with pulmonary TB, it's important to take your medicines exactly as prescribed and to finish the whole course.
Latent TB is where you've been infected with the TB bacteria, but don't have any symptoms of active infection.
If you have latent TB and are aged 65 or under, treatment is usually recommended. However, the antibiotics used to treat TB can cause liver damage in older adults.
If liver damage is a concern and you're aged between35 and 65, your TB team will discuss with you the advantages and disadvantages of taking treatment for latent TB.
Latent TB is also not always treated if it's thought to be drug resistant. If this is the case, you may be regularly monitored to check the infection doesn't become active.
In some cases, testing and treatment for latent TB may be recommended for people who require treatment that will weaken their immune system, such as long-term corticosteroids, chemotherapy or biological inhibitorslike TNF inhibitors. This is because there's a risk of the infection becoming active.
Treatment for latent TB generally involves:
Isoniazid can cause nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy) . You'll be given supplements of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) to take alongside it to reduce this risk. Your liver function will be tested before you start treatment.
In rare cases, the antibiotics used to treat TB can cause eye damage, which can be serious. If you're going to be treated with ethambutol, your vision should also be tested at the beginning of the course of treatment.
Contact your TB treatment team if you develop any worrying symptoms during treatment, such as:
Rifampicin can reduce the effectiveness ofsome types of contraception, such as the combinedcontraceptive pill . You should use an alternative method of contraception, such as condoms , while taking rifampicin.
Rifampicin can also interact with other medication, so it's important that your TB team know about all of the medicine you're taking before you start treatment for TB.
If you're diagnosed with pulmonary TB,you'll be contagious up to about two to three weeks into your course of treatment.
You won't usually need to be isolated during this time, but it's important to take some basic precautions to stop TB spreading to your family and friends.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection spread through inhaling tiny droplets from the coughs or sneezes of an infected person. It mainly affects the lungs, but it can affect any part of the body, including the tummy (abdomen) glands, bones and nervous system.
The symptoms of tuberculosis (TB) vary depending on which part of the body is affected. TB disease usually develops slowly, and it may take several weeks for you to become aware that you're unwell. General symptoms include lack of appetite, weight loss, fever, night sweats and extreme tiredness.
Read about the cause of tuberculosis (TB) and the groups at risk.It's caused by a type of bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Several tests are used to diagnose tuberculosis (TB), depending on the type of TB that is suspected. You may have a chest X-ray to look for changes in the appearance of your lungs that are suggestive of TB.
Find out how tuberculosis (TB) is treated. Treatment usually involves taking antibiotics for several months.