Skip to content

    Treating Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Topic Overview

    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

    Recommended Related to Lung Disease/Respiratory Problems

    Diagnosing Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

    Shortness of breath is one of the telltale signs of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, but it's also a symptom of lots of other conditions. Your doctor may suggest several tests that can help confirm a diagnosis of IPF, which is brought on by scarring in your lungs.

    Read the Diagnosing Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis article > >

    • 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 (MDR-TB).

    Some TB bacteria have become resistant to all of the antibiotics that are commonly used to treat TB. This is sometimes called totally resistant tuberculosis (TDR-TB).2 A TB infection of this type is very difficult to treat.

    1

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    Next Article:

    Treating Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis Topics

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    diabetes supply kit
    Pack and prepare.
    Balding man in mirror
    Treatments & solutions.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    sticky notes on face
    10 tips to clear your brain fog.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    woman biting a big ice cube
    Habits that wreck your teeth.
    apple slices with peanut butter
    What goes best with workouts?
    Pink badge on woman chest to support breat cancer
    Myths and facts.

    Women's Health Newsletter

    Find out what women really need.