People with latent TB may be treated
with one antibiotic that they take daily for 9 months or with a combination of antibiotics that they take once a week for 12 weeks while being watched by a health professional. Making sure every dose is taken reduces their risk
for getting active TB.
If you miss doses of your medicine, or if
you stop taking your medicine too soon, your treatment may fail or have to go
on longer. You may have to start your treatment over again. This can also cause
the infection to get worse or may lead to an infection that is
resistant to antibiotics. This is much harder to
TB can only be cured if you take all the doses of your
medicine. A doctor or nurse may have to watch you take it to make sure that you
never miss a dose and that you take it the proper way. You may have to go to
the doctor's office every day. Or a nurse may come to your home or work. This
is called direct observational treatment. It helps people follow all of the
instructions and keep up with their treatment, which can be complex and take a
long time. Cure rates for TB have greatly improved because of this type of
If active TB is not treated, it can damage your lungs
or other organs and can be deadly. You can also spread TB by not treating an active TB infection.
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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