You Can Beat TB: Latent TB Infection(LTBI) - Information For Patients With Latent TB Infection

Your Have Latent Tuberculosis Infection (LTBI)

Your tests show that you have latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI). This means tuberculosis (TB) germs are living in your body, but you are not sick and you cannot spread TB to others. Your health care provider has prescribed medicine that can help reduce the chance of your latent TB becoming active TB disease. TB disease is very serious. TB disease can kill you. Even if you feel okay now, you must take 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 If I'm Not Sick

Because you have latent TB infection, you could develop active TB disease at some time in the future. If you take medicine now, it will reduce your chances of developing active TB disease. Taking the medication for LTBI is an important step in preventing the spread of TB disease.

How Often Should I Take My TB Medicine?

There are several medications available to treat LTBI. Your health care provider will decide which medication to take, how frequently, and how long you need to take it. It may seem like you will need to take the medicine for a long time, but it is very important that you take all your medication because if you stop, the infection could develop into active TB disease, you would be sick, and you could spread TB to others.

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. You should 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?

Most people have no side effects. Some 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?

If you think that taking your medicine is going to be too hard, ask your health care provider about programs that can help you follow your health care provider's orders.

Your local health department (LHD) can offer some helpful suggestions so you will remember to take all the medicine until your health care provider tells you to stop.

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