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Medicine for Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) can scar the lungs and other parts of the body, such as the kidneys, bones, or the brain. TB can even be fatal. If you know you have TB, get medical treatment. This includes taking 1 or more antibiotics for as many as 3 to 12 months or more. It is vital that you follow your treatment plan as directed.

Important

Take all of your medicine as prescribed. If you don’t, the TB may not go away and you may still be infected.

Treatment with medicine

Inactive TB (latent TB infection) and active TB disease are treated with antibiotics. You may have tests to tell which medicines are right for you. Latent TB is treated with 1 or 2 antibiotics at a time. Active TB disease is treated with 2 to 4 antibiotics at a time. Treatment takes 3 to12 months or more, depending on your condition. Many people feel better after taking their medicines for only a few weeks. But it's very important to keep taking them exactly as you are told. This should cure the disease. If you don’t take all your medicine, your symptoms may come back.

Follow your treatment plan

Follow the instructions on your prescription. Follow any instructions your healthcare provider gives you. This is the only way to make your TB go away. Take all of your medicines, even if you are not having any symptoms. If you don’t take the medicines as prescribed you can become sick again. And you can perhaps spread the disease to other people. If you don't take the medicines correctly, the germs that are still alive can become resistant to the medicines.

Go for follow-up

If you have latent TB infection or active TB disease, go for follow-up exams. Exams help to make sure any medicine you’re given is working and that you're not having severe side effects. The only way to cure TB is to take all of your medicine as instructed.

For more information

For more information on TB, call your local health department. Also call the American Lung Association at 800-586-4872, or visit them online.

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