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

Exceptions

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.

References

ISDA Practice Guidelines

Dr. George Kubica. TB Culture. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Public Health Image Library (1976)