Thursday, March 31, 2016

How to recover from Multidrug-Resistant TB

Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) is TB that does not respond to at least isoniazid and rifampicin, the two most powerful anti-TB drugs. The reasons why multidrug resistance continues to emerge and spread are mismanagement of TB treatment (not completing the full course of treatment, or being prescribed the wrong treatment or dose or wrong length of time for taking the drugs, or not seeing a doctor at the end of treatment to ensure the TB bacteria has been eliminated) and person-to-person transmission especially in crowded settings such as prisons and hospitals. In some countries, it is becoming increasingly difficult to treat MDR-TB. Treatment options are limited and expensive, recommended medicines are not always available, and patients experience many adverse effects from the drugs. In some cases, more severe drug resistance can develop. Extensively drug-resistant TB, XDR-TB, is a form of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis that responds to even fewer available medicines, including the most effective second-line anti-TB drugs. According to World Health Organization XDR-TB has been reported in 105 countries worldwide. Regular check-ups are important to ensure you are on the right track with your TB treatment. For more information:

Get tested. Get treated. See your Local Urban Health Clinic.

TB and HIV –
From World Health Organisation: TB is the most common presenting illness among people living with HIV, including among those taking antiretroviral treatment and it is a leading cause of HIV-related death. People living with HIV are from 26-31 times more likely to develop TB than persons without HIV. ​TB and HIV infection can work together to make you very sick. Talk to your doctor about testing.

TB and Pregnancy –
From the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): While dealing with a TB diagnosis in pregnancy is not easy, there is a greater risk to the pregnant woman and her baby if TB disease is not treated. Pregnant women who are diagnosed with TB should start treatment as soon as TB is detected. Babies born to women with untreated TB disease may have lower birth weight than those babies born to women without TB. Rarely, a baby may be born with TB. Although the TB drugs used in treatment cross the placenta, these drugs do not appear to have harmful effects on the baby. If you are pregnant and suspect you may have TB talk to your doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of TB?
People who have latent TB infection do not have any symptoms, and cannot spread TB to others. Those who have active TB may experience:
– Fatigue, weakness
– Unexplained weight loss
– Have a cough for 3 weeks or longer (sometimes with blood or sputum)
– Chest pain
– Fever
– Night sweats

Remember: If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms it is important to see your doctor at your local urban health clinic for a TB test.

Get tested. Get treated. See your Local Urban Health Clinic.