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All about tuberculosis tuberculosis transmission causes of tuberculosis risk factors for tuberculosis symptoms of tuberculosis diagnosis of tuberculosis treatment for tuberculosis prevention of tuberculosis

What's the treatment for tuberculosis?

In infected individuals it is usually used in combination with other antituberculosis drugs such as rifampin, pyrazinamide, and ethambutol. Tuberculosis drugs have to be taken regularly, typically for 6 to 12 months. Many patients abandon their treatment when they feel better; similarly, preventive treatment is often abandoned because of the inconvenience. Such noncompliance is believed to be the main reason for the upsurge in drug-resistant strains of the tuberculosis bacilli, many

of which are resistant to more than one drug. Drug-resistant tuberculosis is difficult to treat and has a much higher death rate. The combination drug rifater (rifampin, isoniazid, and pyrazinamide) has simplified drug administration. Directly observed treatment, where health-care workers watch patients take each dose of medicine, has proved effective in eliminating the problem of noncompliance in the United States, but monitoring has been less effective in many other parts of the world.

For patients with disease due to drug resistant organisms, expert consultation from a specialist in treating drug resistant tuberculosis should be obtained. Patients with drug resistant disease should be treated with a minimum of two or three drugs to which their organisms are susceptible. It is presently unknown whether preventive therapy can effectively prevent the development of active tuberculosis disease in people who are infected with MDR-TB strains. Immunocompromised people who are infected with MDR-TB are currently being treated with two to three drugs to which the strain is likely to be susceptible.

Surgical treatment of tuberculosis may be used if medications are ineffective. There are three surgical treatments for pulmonary tuberculosis: pneumothorax, in which air is introduced into the chest to collapse the lung; thoracoplasty, in which one or more ribs are removed; and removal of a diseased lung, in whole or in part. It is possible for patients to survive with one healthy lung. Spinal tuberculosis may result in a severe deformity that can be corrected surgically.

More information on tuberculosis

What is tuberculosis? - Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious, wasting disease characterized by the coughing up of mucus and sputum, fever, weight loss, and chest pain.
How is tuberculosis transmitted? - Tuberculosis is spread through air droplets which are expelled when persons with infectious TB disease cough, sneeze, speak, or sing.
What causes tuberculosis? - Tuberculosis is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Transmission occurs only from persons with active TB disease.
What're the risk factors for tuberculosis? - Tuberculosis is more common in elderly persons. The risk of tuberculosis increases when the immune system is unhealthy.
What are the symptoms of tuberculosis? - Symptoms of tuberculosis include cough, sputum, bleeding from the lungs, fever, night sweats, loss of weight, and weakness.
How is tuberculosis diagnosed? - Diagnosis of tuberculosis includes a medical history, a physical examination, a tuberculin skin test, a chest X-ray, and microbiologic smears and cultures.
What's the treatment for tuberculosis? - Directly observed treatment is effective in eliminating the problem of noncompliance. Surgical treatment of tuberculosis may be used if medications are ineffective.
How to prevent tuberculosis? - Preventive measures for tuberculosis include strict standards for ventilation, air filtration, and isolation methods. Preventive antibiotic treatment may have to be given.
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