Treatment of tuberculosis

Since tuberculosis is an infectious disease the causative agent of which is mycobacteria, treatment is aimed at destroying the causative microorganism using antibiotics.
There are no other treatment options. Please do not self-medicate; in case of onset of at least several symptoms contact your GP.

You should know about TB treatment that:

  • tuberculosis is curable if treatment regime is strictly observed;
  • tuberculosis treatment is continuous;
  • tuberculosis treatment is made under medical staff control; 
  • anti-tuberculosis drugs can cause complications, but the risk for the human health is hundreds times lower, than in case of refusal from TB treatment.

TB treatment goals: 

  • full recovery of a TB-infected;
  • stopping pathogenic organisms from being transmitted to healthy people; 
  • preventing reproduction of drug-resistant mycobacterium tuberculosis; 
  • preventing fatal outcomes and heavy complications.

What is the direct treatment control? 

The treatment control means that a medical worker controls the patient every time he takes medicines. It is impossible to foresee who will strictly observe the treatment and who will interrupt it. Many patients who began the treatment stop taking medicines as their health status improves. This leads to drug-resistant tuberculosis. So, to prevent such situations, the medical workers must control the treatment. The medical staff should organize the treatment control so that it doesn't violate patients' rights. On the contrary, the patients should feel attention and care. The way to success is through persuasion not compulsion.

Why the treatment must not be interrupted? 

Regular taking of TB drugs is the key element of successful treatment. Practical experience proves that the most treatment failures are due to treatment interruption not wrong choice or doses of TB drugs. As a result, mycobacterium tuberculosis becomes resistant to drugs, which makes the treatment longer, more expensive and less successful.

How the treatment process goes? 

The tuberculosis treatment has two phases:

1) the main phase; 
2) the supporting phase;

The main phase takes place in hospitals and lasts 2-3 months. Results of the phase:

  • fast elimination of mycobacterium tuberculosis;
  • prevention of drug-resistant TB;
  • patients become non-contagious.

The supporting treatment can be out-patient and last from 3 to 4 months. This phase sees fewer drugs to be taken by patients than the main one.

Results of the phase:

influence on the rest of TB bacteria (including dormant forms) 
full disinfection of disease focus in an affected organ.

The full treatment course lasts at least 6 months.

TB drugs 

TB treatment is carried out according to specially developed treatment schemes using special TB antibiotics. Usually, the patients endure treatment well.

The main TB drugs are the first-line medications 

Isoniazid. White pills, well endured by patients. Sometimes at the beginning of the treatment course the patient may have enanthesis and nausea. To prevent it, the B-group vitamins are often prescribed to be taken simultaneously with antibiotics.

Ryphampycin. Red capsules. At the beginning of treatment ryphampycin may cause nausea and headache. It can cause red color of urine, sputum, and tears. It is a usual phenomenon that does not require to change the process.

Pyrazinamide. Pills. Pyrazinamide may cause periodical joints ache.

Ethambutol. Pills. Ethambutol may cause decrement in visual acuity.

Streptomycin. Injection powder. Streptomycin is mostly prescribed during the first two months and then is cancelled. This medicine is not prescribed for the patients with the hearing impairments and nephatony. Side effects: hearing and vestibular apparatus impairment. Injection place can develop into an abscess, that is why the injections should be made in medical gloves.

During treatment courses different combinations of these five main medicines can be prescribed.  

Should you have any side effects please consult your doctor. Do not interrupt the treatment!