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Tuberculosis is treated with a combination of antibiotics that are active against the microbe that causes it. The current standard regimen consists of four drugs (isoniazid, rifampicin, pyrazinamide and ethambutol), which are administered for 2 months.
If the microbe is sensitive to treatment after this first phase, treatment continues with two drugs (isoniazid and rifampicin) for 6 months.
The patient often recovers fully after 2 months of treatment, but it is essential to continue treatment till the end. Early discontinuation carries a very high risk of relapse.
Administration in the current regimen is on an empty stomach, 1 hour before a meal, or 2 hours after, once a day.
It is essential for the treatment to be carried out as directed, i.e. all pills must be taken daily. Abandoning part of the medication or not taking the appropriate doses can lead to the microbe developing resistance to the antibiotics, which makes farther treatment very difficult.
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Substantiated information by:
Alberto García-BasteiroMedicina preventiva y epidemiologíaEpidemiólogo
Jose Antonio Martinez MartinezEnfermedades InfecciosasEspecialista en enfermedades infecciosas
Published: 1 February 2023
Updated: 1 February 2023
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