Disclaimer: tuberculosis is actually a very complicated disease to treat. If patient care decision making is involved, you should consult the ISDA Practice Guidelines.
Drug-susceptible pulmonary tuberculosis
Patients with drug-susceptible pulmonary tuberculosis can be adequately treated with 6 months of anti-tuberculosis drugs:
- The initial phase of pulmonary tuberculosis treatment consists of two months of rifampin, isoniazid, ethambutol, and pyrazinamide
- The continuation phase of pulmonary tuberculosis treatment consists of four months of isoniazid and rifampin
A 7-month continuation phase is needed in the following circumstances:
- The patient did not receive pyrazinamide in the initial phase
- The patient received weekly isoniazid and rifapentine and still has positive sputum cultures at the end of the initial phase
- The patient has cavitary pulmonary tuberculosis and still has positive sputum cultures at the end of the initial phase
Multidrug-resistent tuberculosis requires treatment that extends beyond 9 total months.
Dr. George Kubica. TB Culture. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Public Health Image Library (1976)