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Tuberculosis ( Tb ) Disease

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Now that you have been diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) disease, let us talk about some of the medications, known as anti-tuberculosis medications, the doctor is likely to prescribe. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are ten different drugs that can be used to treat TB, with the “first-line anti-TB” medications being: isoniazid (INH), rifampin (RIF), etherambutol (EMB), and pyrazinamide (PZA) (CDC, 2016). These are taken in pill form, by mouth. The two phases of treatment are the intensive phase, where you will take INH, RIF, PZA, and EMB; and the continuation phase, where you will be taking INH and RIF. There are a few different options for dosing. The CDC states that for the intensive phase you…show more content…
The CDC states that the sputum smear and culture can further identify the disease; “a positive culture for M. tuberculosis confirms the diagnosis of TB disease” (CDC, 2016). It is also important to draw blood for culture and sensitivity to be tested for drug resistance as just mentioned. It is imperative to identify any drug resistance to prevent complications and longer treatment.
Since TB is highly infectious, we need to discuss what testing your family needs to have done to make sure they do not have it either. There are two ways to get tested for TB, which is either the TB skin test, also known as the Mantoux tuberculin skin test (TST), or the TB blood test. Since your kids are under the age of five the CDC recommends the skin test (CDC, 2016). It is also preferred that your wife gets the skin test, unless she has been previously vaccinated for TB. The skin test is performed by injecting a small amount of fluid under the skin in the forearm that will cause a reaction if the person has TB. This reaction will not occur right away, so your family will have to come back in within 48 to 72 hours to have it read by a health care provider. To read the TB test, the health care worker will inspect the site for any redness, hardness, or swelling. If there is any induration, or swelling, they will also measure the area to see whether they test positive or negative. If one or more of your family’s skin tests come back positive
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