Treatment usually involves isoniazid, rifampin, and ethambutol
for 9 months. If the TB bacteria cannot be killed by any of these first-line
medicines, then other medicines and a longer treatment time may be
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International
Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (IUATLD) recommend pyrazinamide
for treatment of pregnant women who have TB. But pyrazinamide is seldom used in the
United States because of safety concerns.
Streptomycin is not used
to treat TB in pregnant women, because it may cause birth
Medical experts also recommend that pregnant or
breast-feeding women take vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) during treatment for
The safety of second-line medicines for a developing fetus is not
known. So a pregnant woman infected with drug-resistant TB bacteria or
a pregnant woman who has both TB and HIV infections should talk to her doctor
about the safest treatment options.
Women being treated for active TB with first-line medicines can
continue to breast-feed. The small amounts of medicine that get into the breast
milk do not appear to harm a baby. Medical experts recommend that
breast-feeding women should also take vitamin B6 during TB treatment.
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
April 04, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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