You Can Beat TB Disease - Information For Patients With TB Disease

You Have Tuberculosis Disease

Your tests show that you have active tuberculosis (TB) disease. Your health care provider has prescribed several medications that can cure you and prevent others from catching TB disease from you. Most of the time, TB is spread through the air so anyone can catch it. TB disease is very serious. If you don't take all your medicine, TB can kill you. Even when you feel okay, you must continue to take all of the medicine your health care provider has prescribed and follow your health care provider's instructions. That's the only way to beat TB.

Why Should I Take My TB Medicine?

Taking medicine can save your life! You will probably feel better after the first few weeks of treatment, but you must KEEP taking your medicine until your health care provider tells you to stop. If you stop taking your medicine too soon, the TB can reoccur and become worse. Taking your medicine can keep you from spreading TB to your family, friends, co-workers, and other close contacts.

How Often Should I Take My TB Medicine?

Follow your health care provider's orders. People with TB disease have to take medicine regularly for six months or longer. Your health care provider will tell you when to stop. It takes many months to kill the TB germs. It's very important to take all your medication as ordered because if you stop, TB disease can reoccur; you might spread it to others; and you might even die.

Should I Avoid Certain Foods Or Other Medicines While I'm Taking My TB Medicine?

In general no, but you should avoid alcohol while you're taking your TB medicine. Also, let your health care provider know what other medicines you're taking. This is especially important for women on birth control pills, and for anyone on methadone.

Will I Have Side Effects From My TB Medicine?

In most cases, no. Some people have a loss of appetite, upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, fever, or rash. If you have any of these problems, or notice anything else unusual, tell your health care provider. If you get yellowing of the eyes, skin, or have dark brown urine, stop taking your medicine and tell your health care provider immediately.

How Can I Remember To Take All This Medicine?

To help you remember to take all your medicine, your local health department (LHD) provides a service called Directly Observed Therapy (DOT). Your LHD will work with you to find a convenient place and time to meet and take your medicine.

If you have additional questions, contact your health care provider or local health department.