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Tuberculosis (TB), caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, is an infectious disease which primarily affects the lungs.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has set an international standardized treatment regimen for the management of cases of Tuberculosis.   Based on WHO, treatment and management of TB cases would be based on the treatment category in which the individual affected belongs. 

Regardless of the treatment category, the first line of treatment for tuberculosis would include a fixed dose combination of isoniazid, rifampicin, ethambutol and pyrazinamide.  In some cases, injectable streptomycin is included in the treatment plan.

For cases of Multi-Drug Resistant TB (MDR-TB), in which the bacillus is resistant to at least isoniazid and rifampicin, there are five groups of drugs that are available on the market, including:

  • First Group: high-dose of first-line drugs, namely:  isoniazid, pyrazinamide and ethambutol
  • Second Group: fluroquinolones, especially high-dose levofloxacin
  • Third Group: injectable capreomycin, kanamycin and amikacin
  • Fourth Group: second-line drugs, namely: thioamides, cycloserine, aminosalicylic acid
  • Fifth Group: clofazimine, co-amoxiclav, carbapenems, clarithromycin

Currently, new drugs are being developed for the treatment of tuberculosis.  For drug-resistant TB, rifamycin and rifapentine are presently under clinical trials.  For multi-drug resistant TB, bedaquiline and delamanid are being evaluated for safety and efficacy.

With good compliance to the treatment regimen, almost 90 % of cases are expected to be cured.  For those who have poor treatment compliance, they have the risk of developing a relapse or multi-drug resistance.  If the disease is left untreated, extra-pulmonary invasion of the bacteria may take place or worsening of the pulmonary condition may lead to death.  In fact, more than 50 % of untreated active cases may result to death within 5 year period.

It is important to recognize that medications and medical procedures are associated with benefits and risks that should be discussed with your physician. It is important to recognize that all information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition. Your Health Access disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.