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Tuberculosis

Some TB Drugs are Resistant

06/16/2010

Question:

I am 23 yrs old, male. I faced TB in 2004. I took a complete treatment of 8 months and became healthy. But in April 2010 I am once again facing this danger disease. In April 2010 all reports like sputum test was positive. Then my doctor suggested that I go for the drugs sensitivity test. In this test some drugs like streptomycin and two other appeared as "Resistant". Now my doctor suggested me - Cap. Rcinex, Tab. Tobutol, Injection kanamycin and Tab M-cin. Before changing the medicines I was taking Akruit-4 and Streptomycin with M-cin.

I know my doctor is the best. But doctor sir, I just want to know that as you know drugs are coming as "resistant" so am I at danger stage? Or is it possible that in future, I will face this disease again. After 2004 I felt that I am OK and will be OK as I got a full treatment. But I was wrong. Please give me advise and suggestions.

Answer:

I am glad that you had drug susceptibility testing done when you became sick with TB again, so that your doctor could give you the best medications to cure your relapsed TB. Without knowing more about what drugs your TB isolate is currently resistant to, I cannot offer any specific advice. But, in general, your doctor will probably ask you to take the new TB meds for a long time to try to cure drug resistant TB, and you may have to work with your doctor about side effects of the medications.

Try not to miss any doses of your medications ever, even though that might be a hardship sometimes. Sometimes surgery to remove cavities is recommended to increase the chances of cure. Be careful about eating healthy foods so that you have good nutrition, and take any extra vitamins your doctor gives you. If you don’t get out into the sun much, ask your doctor about vitamin D, because solar therapy was felt to be helpful for TB back before we had medications. There are some new TB medications being studied, too. Best of luck to you.

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Response by:

Lisa A Haglund, MD Lisa A Haglund, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati