Using more than one medicine to prevent multidrug-resistant TB. The standard treatment begins with four medicines given for 2 months.
Continuing treatment for 4 to 9 months or longer if needed. The number of medicines used during this time depends on the results of sensitivity testing.
Using directly observed therapy (DOT). This means visits with a health professional who watches you every time you take your medicine. A cure for TB requires you to take all doses of the antibiotics. These visits ensure that people follow medicine instructions, which is helpful because of the long treatment course for TB.
Trying a different combination of medicines if the treatment is not working because of drug resistance (when tests show that TB-causing bacteria are still active).
Using one medicine to kill the TB bacteria and prevent active TB.
The standard treatment is isoniazid taken for 9 months. For people who cannot take isoniazid for 9 months, sometimes a 6-month treatment program is done.1
Treatment with rifampin for 4 months is another choice. This is an acceptable alternate treatment, especially for people who have been exposed to bacteria that are resistant to isoniazid.1
Taking two antibiotics once a week for 12 weeks to kill the TB bacteria.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. The antibiotic combinations include isoniazid and rifapentine or isoniazid and rifampin.
Treatment is recommended for anyone with a skin test that shows a TB infection, and is especially important for people who:
Are known to or are likely to be infected with HIV.
Have close contact with a person who has active TB.
Have a chest X-ray that suggests a TB infection and have not had a complete course of treatment.