Specifically, TB treatment aims to:
· Cure the patient and restore quality of life and productivity.
· Prevent relapse of TB.
· Reduce transmission of TB to others.
· Prevent the development and transmission of drug-resistant tubercle bacilli.
· Prevent death from active TB or its late effects.
Recommended daily doses of first-line anti-TB drugs
Initial phase; Rifampicin + Isoniazid + Pyrazinamide and Ethambutol in fixed dose (RHZE) for 2 months
Continuation phase; Rifampicin + Isoniazid (RH) for 4 months
Initial phase; Streptomycin+ Rifampicin + Isoniazid + Pyrazinamide and Ethambutol for 2months then RHZE for 1months
Continuation phase; Rifampicin + Isoniazid+ Ethambutol (RHE) for 5 months
Source: Manual for the Management of Tuberculosis and Leprosy (6th ed) National Tuberculosis and Lepros y Programme, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare
The following shall be considered in treatment of TB patients:
· The most serious problem with TB therapy is nonadherence to the prescribed regimen. The most effective way to ensure adherence is with directly observed therapy (DOT)
· The oral drugs should preferably be given on an empty stomach in a fixed dose combination
Treatment of Tuberculosis in Special Cases
Consideration is needed when handling a patient with TB/HIV co-infection;
· Start ART for all TB patients living with HIV irrespective of CD4 counts; Treat TB first and start ART as soon as possible, preferably within two weeks of initiating treatment
· If CD4 count is less than 50 cells/mm3; Treat TB first and start ART within the first two weeks of initiating TB treatment
· Already on ART at TB diagnosis; Treat TB and replace nevirapine with efavirenz
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