Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation PPD skin test Treatment drugs questions for doctor specialist Home Care cough diet fever taking control warning signs Prevention Outlook Complications Underlying Cause Transmission

TB Treatment

The cornerstone of treatment for tuberculosis is long term antibiotics. In most cases, the patient will need to take antibiotics for 6 to 9 months. Underlying health can be contributing factor in the determination of the length of therapy. It takes about 3 weeks of antibiotics before the patient is no longer contagious. It is very important that no doses are skipped. Missing your TB medicine can encourage the infection to return, and in some cases, become resistant to the antibiotics.

Additional treatments are directed at managing tuberculosis complications and drug side effects. In some cases, surgery may be required to remove the infected portion of a lung. Members of the household require treatment, in order to prevent the spread of tuberculosis.

Treatment for tuberculosis may include:

TB Drugs

The most common antibiotics used for the treatment of tuberculosis include:

Additional antibiotics that may be used to treat tuberculosis include:

TB Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of tuberculosis.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
    • Is surgery an option for me?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • Do I need to stay in the hospital?
    • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • Am I contagious?
    • For how long?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How do I avoid passing the infection to others?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Do I need to change my diet?
  • Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
  • When can I resume my normal activities?
  • When can I return to work?
  • What else can I do to reduce my risk for worsening tuberculosis?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
  • What local support and other resources are available?

TB Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat tuberculosis:

Continue to TB Home Care

Last Updated: Jun 9, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed TB References
  1. Chan ED, Heifets L, Iseman MD. Immunologic diagnosis of tuberculosis: a review. Tuber Lung Dis. 2000;80(3):131-40. [10970761]
  2. Marais BJ, Gie RP, Hesseling AH, Beyers N. Adult-type pulmonary tuberculosis in children 10-14 years of age. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2005 Aug;24(8):743-4. [16094237]
  3. Sharma SK, Mohan A, Sharma A, Mitra DK. Miliary tuberculosis: new insights into an old disease. Lancet Infect Dis. 2005 Jul;5(7):415-30. [15978528]
  4. Smith KC, Armitige L, Wanger A. A review of tuberculosis: reflections on the past, present and future of a global epidemic disease. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2003 Oct;1(3):483-91. [15482144]
  5. Watkins RE, Brennan R, Plant AJ. Tuberculin reactivity and the risk of tuberculosis: a review. Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2000 Oct;4(10):895-903. [11055755]
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