Treating Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis
People infected with tuberculosis (TB) bacteria that are antibiotic-resistant need special treatment programs. People with a weakened immune system are more likely to get drug-resistant TB. These include people infected with HIV or people who have had an organ transplant.
Treatment usually involves at least four medicines.1
- A treatment program using four to six medicines appears to be best. The choice of medicines depends on the results of sensitivity testing.
- Most treatment programs involve isoniazid, rifampin, and pyrazinamide, along with one to three second-choice medicines.
- Second-choice medicines used to treat drug-resistant TB usually have more side effects than the first-choice medicines. Second-choice medicines include streptomycin, capreomycin, ethionamide, kanamycin, ofloxacin, para-aminosalicylic acid, and rifabutin.
- It is very important to take every dose of medicine. So directly observed therapy (DOT) usually is done. During DOT, a health professional watches you take every dose of medicine.
- Treatment is continued until TB bacteria can no longer be found in two sputum samples taken a month apart. This may take 18 months or longer in people with multidrug-resistant TB.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||R. Steven Tharratt, MD, MPVM, FACP, FCCP - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Medical Toxicology|
|Last Revised||April 15, 2011|
Last Revised: April 15, 2011
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