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How do you treat drug-resistant TB?

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If several types of medications don't do the job, you have what doctors call multidrug-resistant TB. You’ll need to take a combination of medications for 20-30 months, including:

A rare and serious type of the disease is called extensively drug-resistant TB. This means that many of the common medications -- including isoniazid, rifampin, fluoroquinolones, and at least one of the antibiotics that are injected -- don't knock it out. Research shows that it can be cured around 30% to 50% of the time.

  • Antibiotics called fluoroquinolones
  • An injectable antibiotic, such as amikacin, kanamycin, and capreomycin
  • Newer antibiotic treatments, such as linezolid and bedaquiline

SOURCES:

Brian W. Christman, MD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

CDC: “Questions and Answers About Tuberculosis” and “Tuberculosis.”

American Lung Association: “Learn About Tuberculosis.”

Mayo Clinic: “Tuberculosis.”

World Health Organization: “Tuberculosis.”

Minnesota Department of Health: “Home Respiratory Precautions for Patients with Potentially Infectious Tuberculosis.”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on September 18, 2019

SOURCES:

Brian W. Christman, MD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

CDC: “Questions and Answers About Tuberculosis” and “Tuberculosis.”

American Lung Association: “Learn About Tuberculosis.”

Mayo Clinic: “Tuberculosis.”

World Health Organization: “Tuberculosis.”

Minnesota Department of Health: “Home Respiratory Precautions for Patients with Potentially Infectious Tuberculosis.”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on September 18, 2019

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