Common Name/Other Name: TB; Koch's Disease; Wasting Disease; White Plague
Tuberculosis is an infectious bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacterium mainly targets the lungs but it can also attack other parts of the body such as the kidneys, spine, and brain. It spreads from one person to another through tiny air droplets released by infected persons when they cough or sneeze. The body may harbor tuberculosis bacteria but can be healthy enough not to show any signs or symptoms. Thus, there are two conditions related to tuberculosis:
- Latent/Inactive Tuberculosis - You can be infected by tuberculosis infection but not show any signs and symptoms because your healthy immune system can render it inactive. However, a compromised immune system, such as in cases of HIV/AIDS, may cause the latent bacteria to become active. People with latent tuberculosis cannot spread the bacteria.
- Active Tuberculosis - Even if the bacteria are inactive, it is important to seek treatment immediately before it becomes active tuberculosis. TB can be fatal if not treated properly.
Even if the bacteria are inactive, it is important to seek treatment immediately before it becomes active tuberculosis. TB can be fatal if not treated properly.
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
In TB treatment, completing the treatment is the key to recovery. It is crucial to finish the full course of treatment and to follow the drug regimen exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you stop too soon or skip doses, the bacteria that are still active inside the body can become resistant to drugs.
Antibiotics and antitubercular agents are taken for at least six to 9 months. The exact medication and length of treatment will depend on different factors like your age, the form of TB (if latent or active), possible drug resistance, location of infection in the body and your overall health. Seek consultation for more information regarding specific drugs.