antibiotics are used at the same time to treat active
tuberculosis (TB) disease. For people who have
multidrug-resistant TB, treatment may continue for as
long as 24 months. These antibiotics are given as pills or injections.
For active TB, there are
different treatment recommendations for children, pregnant women, people who have HIV and TB, and people who have
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TB disease that occurs in parts
of your body other than the lungs (extrapulmonary TB) usually is treated with the same medicines and for the same length
of time as active TB in the lungs (pulmonary TB). But TB throughout the body
(miliary TB) or TB that affects the brain or the bones and joints in children
may be treated for at least 12 months.
medicines also may be given in some severe cases to reduce inflammation. They
may be helpful for children at risk of central nervous system problems caused
by TB and for people who have conditions such as high fever, TB throughout the
body (miliary TB),
One antibiotic usually is used to treat
latent TB infection, which cannot be spread to others but can develop into
active TB disease. The antibiotic usually is taken for 4 to 9 months.1 Or more than one antibiotic may be taken once a week for 12 weeks.5 For this treatment, a health professional watches you take each dose of antibiotics. Taking every dose of antibiotic helps prevent the TB bacteria from getting resistant to the antibiotics.
Multiple-drug therapy to treat TB usually involves
taking four antibiotics at the same time. This is the standard treatment for
If you miss doses of medicine or you stop treatment too soon,
your treatment may go on longer or you may have to start over. This can also
cause the infection to get worse, or it may lead to antibiotic-resistant infections
that are much harder to treat.
Taking all of the medicines is especially
important for people who have an impaired immune system. They may be at an
increased risk for a relapse because the original TB infection was never
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
June 04, 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