Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Lung Disease & Respiratory Health Center

Font Size

Tuberculosis (TB) - Treatment Overview

Doctors treat tuberculosis (TB) with antibiotics to kill the TB bacteria. These medicines are given to everyone who has TB, including infants, children, pregnant women, and people who have a weakened immune system.

Treatment for active tuberculosis

Health experts recommend:4

Treatment for latent tuberculosis

Experts recommend one of the following:

  • 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.
  • Inject illegal drugs.
  • Have medical conditions or take medicines that weaken the immune system.
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    man coughing
    You may not even know you have it.
    blood clot
    Signs of this potentially fatal complication.
    man coughing
    When a cold becomes bronchitis.
    human lungs
    Causes behind painful breathing, fluid buildup.

    chest x-ray
    Bronchitis Overview
    Copd Myth Fact Quiz
    Energy Boosting Foods

    woman coughing
    Lung xray and caduceus