Tuberculosis and Antibiotic Resistance

Tuberculosis is an infection that occurs due to the bacteria mycobacterium tuberculosis. It can affect various organs of your body, such as the lungs, kidneys, brain, and spinal cord. 

Tuberculosis of the lungs, also known as pulmonary tuberculosis, is contagious, meaning it can spread from one person to another through respiratory droplets. Therefore for its prevention, we need to take some little extra care.

As it is said, prevention is better than cure. But for that, you need to protect yourself and put in some extra effort. To prevent tuberculosis from spreading, everyone needs to play the role. Along with isolation, you need to make sure that you take the medications as prescribed by your healthcare provider on time and at the appropriate dose. 

When you do not take the tuberculosis drugs on time and not in the appropriate doses, it can lead to antibiotic resistance. 

In this article, we will tell you about antibiotic resistance in tuberculosis. If you are diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis, you must visit your healthcare provider frequently. To get an expert opinion, you can consult with a Pulmonologist in Lahore.

Many people stop taking tuberculosis medications midway because they are quite hard to tolerate. Soon as the patient feels better, they leave-taking it. But this should not be done at all. 

When you stop taking medications mid-way, the infection becomes even more difficult to treat because it can lead to antibiotic resistance.

What Is An Antibiotic Resistance?

Antibiotic resistance is a condition in which bacteria become resistant to the action of antibiotics that kill bacteria. It happens because the bacteria can adapt to changes. When you stop taking antibiotics mid-way or take it in low dosages, it becomes used to the action of antibiotics by making changes in itself. Now the bacteria that has changed itself is known as antibiotic-resistant bacteria. 

When the bacteria become resistant to antibiotics, treating the condition becomes even more difficult. Another bad thing is that if you now pass on tuberculosis to someone, you pass drug-resistant tuberculosis- a condition that is too bad to handle. All this cycle creates too many problems for the patients and the healthcare staff. 

If you are unable to tolerate tuberculosis medications, you must tell your physician and seek their guidance. They can prescribe you other medications concerning your health. 

When you start to feel better, make sure you do not stop taking medications because bacteria are still present inside your body. Antibiotics kill bacteria slowly. It does not happen overnight. Since tuberculosis is a serious infection, you need to take the course for a long time. 

The duration of tuberculosis medications may vary from nine to eighteen months. Your healthcare providers will decide that depending upon your condition and severity of infection. 

The first-line treatment for tuberculosis is:

  • Rifampicin or Rifampin
  • Isoniazid
  • Pyrazinamide
  • Ethambutol 

With these four drugs, streptomycin is often combined. 

Tuberculosis drugs may be hard to tolerate and may cause side effects. If you feel hard to tolerate them, tell your healthcare provider. Keep in mind that not taking drugs on time in the appropriate quantity can become life-threatening for you, whereas the side effects of these medications are often not so life-threatening. 

Your healthcare provider always prescribes these drugs based on the risk versus benefit ratio. Therefore if your body does not take the tuberculosis medications positively, they can change it with some other drugs. 

A tuberculosis medication, Rifampicin can cause your body secretions to become orange. Therefore you may have orange urine, sweat, saliva, and tears. You do not need to worry about it. It is not harmful to your body. You may feel awkward, but it does not affect your health. 

The Bottom Line 

Many people do not take their tuberculosis medication course in the right way. It creates more and more load on the healthcare sector. Therefore if you have someone near and dear having pulmonary tuberculosis, ask them and counsel them to take medication as the physician directs. 

If you are diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis, you can visit Medicare Cardiac & General Hospital.

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