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Welcome to Medical Information about TB

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HIV and TB

TB
About TB
History of TB
TB in 2006
TB in 2004
TB in 2003
Medical information
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TB in London
Coercion and TB Control
Women and TB
South Asian women
Personal stories of HIV and TB
Introduction
Tuberculosis can be cured completely but only if you take your tablets as prescribed and regularly for the full course. After taking your medicine for a few weeks you will feel better, but do not stop taking your tablets because you are feeling well again or have no more symptoms of TB disease. Only stop taking your medicine when your doctor or nurse tells you to do so. If you decide to stop taking your medicine, for whatever reason, or you have missed some doses, please inform your doctor immediately. If you don't continue taking your medicine as prescribed, it can be dangerous for your health. The TB bacteria will grow again and you will remain sick for a much longer time and the bacteria may also become resistant to one or more of the drugs you are taking. This means that the drug can no longer kill the TB bacteria inside your body. This is called multi drug resistant tuberculosis and is a very serious problem. Resistance to drugs complicates the treatment, making it necessary to treat with more drugs for a longer time. These drugs may also cause serious side effects. It is also possible that you may become infectious, thereby increasing the risk of spreading TB bacteria to your family, friends or anyone else who spends time with you. If you are concerned about remembering to take you medication, or you need further instructions, speak to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Drugs used to treat TB

Amikacin
Side effects: hearing loss, minor dizziness, may reduce kidney function, nausea, vomiting, skin rash, headache, tremor and joint pain.
Further info: drink a lot of water, blood sample required regularly for check on kidney function and drug levels.

Ciprofloxacin
Side effects: nausea; vomiting; stomach cramps; diarrhoea; headache; dizziness; restlessness; drowsiness; fitting/convulsions; increase sensitivity to sunlight; skin rash; itching; may affect liver and kidney function.
Further info: may affect performance of skilled tasks, e.g. driving; avoid taking iron and calcium preparations or indigestion remedies at the same time as ciprofloxacin. Report immediately any skin rash, sore throat, fever or joint and tendon swelling with pain.

Clarithromycin
Side effects: nausea and vomiting; diarrhoea: abdominal pain; skin rashes; headache; joint pain or muscle pain; funny taste in mouth or change in sense of taste and smell; may affect liver and kidney function; very occasionally may cause dizziness, dificulty in sleeping and 'ringing' in the ears.
Further info: take with food if experiencing nausea; contact your doctor/TB healthcare worker/pharmacist immediately if you experience any severe or prolongued diarroea, which may have blood or mucus in it; protect tablets from light.

Clofazime
Side effects: nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, skin discolouration, urine discoloration (red), diarrhoea (high doses), giddiness, eye discolouration and reduced vision, tiredness and headache.
Further info: take with or after food, will colour body secretions (tears, urine, faeces, sweat and sperm) and may stain soft contact lenses.

Co-amoxiclav (AUGMENTIN)
Side effects: nausea, diarrhoea, skin rash, headache, changes in liver function, allergic reaction and thrush.
Further info: Avoid if allergic to penicillin or if have had drug related jaundice previously. See your doctor / TB Nurse / Pharmacist immediately if you develop itching and/or a rash, severe diarrhoea, your urine becomes darker or your faeces becomes paler or if your skin or the whites of your eyes turn yellow.

Cycloserine
Side effects: headaches, dizziness, tremor, depression, drowsiness, confusion, convulsions, tingling or numbness, skin rash, and may affect kidney function.
Further info: may cause drowsiness, may affect performance of skilled tasks (e.g. driving), avoid alcohol, may require pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and folic acid supplementation, and may need regular blood samples to check drug levels.

Doxycycline
Side effects: nausea, vomiting, changes in liver function, headache, diarrhoea, skin rash.
Further info: swallow whole with plenty of fluid during meals while sitting or standing; avoid taking iron, calcium and magnesium preparations or indigestion remedies at the same time as doxycycline; avoid during pregnancy, breastfeeding and in children under 12 years old; and avoid exposure of skin to direct sunlight or sunlamps. See your doctor/ TB Nurse/Pharmacist immediately if you develop itching and/or a rash.

Ethambutol
Side effects: skin rashes; may cause eye problems, such as blurred vision and disturbance in red-green colour vision, nausea; vomiting; headaches; dizziness and joint pain.
Further info: report immediately any skin rash and any change to eyesight.

 

In this section

Introduction

Drugs used to treat TB

Amikacin
Ciprofloxacin
Clarithromycin
Clofazime
Co-amoxyclav
Cycloserine
Doxycycline
Ethambutol
Izoniazid
Ofloxacin
Para-Amino-
   Salycic Acid

Prothionamide
Pyrazinamide
Pyridoxine
Rifampicin
Rifater
Rifinah
Streptomycin

Isoniazid (INH)
Side effects: tingling or pain in hands and feet (neuropathy); nausea and vomiting; skin rash; fever; may cause liver problems (hepatitis) and psychosis.
Further info: may be necessary to take vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) to reduce neuropathy; caution - do not drink alcohol to excess (increases liver problems).

Ofloxacin
Side effects: similar to ciprofloxacin
Further info: similar to ciprofloxacin

Para-Amino-Salicylic Acid (PAS)
Side effects: nausea; vomiting; abdominal pain; diarrhoea; loss of appetite; vitamin B12 deficiency; liver problems; skin rash and fever.
Further info: take with food to reduce stomach problems and report immediately any rash, fever, sore throat and unusual bleeding or bruising.

Prothionamide
Side effects: metallic taste in mouth, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain are common and tingling and numbness, sleepiness, dizziness, impaired vision, headache, tremor and depression have been reported.
Further info: avoid during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Pyrazinamide
Side effects: nausea; vomiting; fever; skin rash; liver problems; aches and pains in joints.

Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)
Side effects: usually does not cause any side effects at low doses.
Further info: can be prescribed for individuals taking isoniazid (INH) to prevent neuropathy (tingling or pain in hands and feet). It is recommended for those who have a poor diet and for those with evidence of nutritional deficiency (e.g. the aged, pregnant women or persons with illnesses which put them at risk of neuropathy).

Rifampicin
Side effects: nausea; vomiting; diarrhoea; skin rash; anaemia; liver problems (jaundice); fever; flu-like symptoms; can turn your body fluids orange (urine, faeces, tears and sperm) and permanently stain soft contact lenses.
Interactions: patients on Methadone may need to have their methadone dose adjusted; patients taking or considering oral contraceptives or implants should discuss this with their doctor.
Further info: caution - do not drink alcohol to excess, do not take with food, but can be taken after food if nausea occurs; skipping medication may cause flu-like symptoms.

Rifater
Contains: Isoniazid, Rifampicin and pyrazinamide.

Rifinah
Contains: Isoniazid and Rifampicin.

Streptomycin (injection)
Side effects: nausea, vomiting, fever, skin rash, dizziness, hearing problems and may affect kidney function
Further info: report immediately any allergic reactions; use a different injection site each day; warm compresses to injection site may reduce pain; kidney function needs to be assessed regularly by means of a blood test.

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In this section

Introduction

Drugs used to treat TB

Amikacin
Ciprofloxacin
Clarithromycin
Clofazime
Co-amoxyclav
Cycloserine
Doxycycline
Ethambutol
Izoniazid
Ofloxacin
Para-Amino-
   Salycic Acid

Prothionamide
Pyrazinamide
Pyridoxine
Rifampicin
Rifater
Rifinah
Streptomycin

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