Tuberculosis – Symptoms and Cures

A common and contagious disease Tuberculosis (TB) spreads through the air like a common cold. While tuberculosis mostly attacks the lungs it can also affect the lymphatic system, circulatory system, central nervous system, the bones, joints and even the skin. About one third of the world's population currently is infected by TB. In this disease, latent infection without symptoms is most common. If left untreated, this disease can become fatal.

There are 3 important things to be followed in the recovery process:

The treatment procedure must include many drugs to which the organisms are susceptible.

Regular medication is necessary for speedy recovery.

Therapy must continue for a sufficient amount of time.

Most of the Tb cases are curable, but the medicines must not be stopped half way and should be continued for the prescribed period. If discontinued in between patients can develop drug resistant TB which is very difficult to cure.

Current Tuberculosis Cure

The most common medications used to treat active TB include:

Isoniazid (INH)
Rifampin (RIF)
Ethambutol
Pyrazinamide.

The most common drug used for TB is Isoniazid (INH). This drug is fairly inexpensive, effective and easy to take. In conjunction with other drugs, this drug is very effective against TB. INH preventive treatment is advised for those individuals who having a tuberculin skin test that changed from negative to positive within the past two years, those who have been in close touch with a person having infectious tuberculosis, a positive skin test reaction and a special medical condition such as HIV infection or AIDS etc. Even if testing shows that the patient is infected with an isoniazid-resistant strain, this drug is continued as some organisms are yet to be sensitive. Two more drugs to which the organisms are likely to be sensitive will also be incorporated into the regimen.

The starting stage of treatment is very crucial in Tb treatment for preventing drug resistance and for better results. Primary or acquired drug resistance can be the case with TB treatment. Primary resistance happens in patients who have had no history of antimycobacterial treatment. Those who have been treated in the past get acquired resistance which usually occurs as a result of incorrect prescribing.

As majority of the people in the developing world do not have access to TB drugs, it leads to more fatalities. Strains of tuberculosis develop due to improper consumption of drugs which then become resistant to treatment. This becomes very difficult to cure and in this case patients have to continue treatment for at least 2 years.

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