There are many different medications that can be used to treat TB. The length of the treatment can depend on whether you have inactive or active TB.
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- Medicines must be taken to get better and to stop the spread of TB to others.
- Taking medicine is not mandatory, but it is usually a good idea because it can lower the risk of you getting sick with active TB in the future. Certain long term medical conditions make the chances of you getting sick with active TB much higher. This makes taking medicine to prevent active TB even more important.
- Treatment for active TB can take up to two years (average is 6 months). Up to four different kinds of medicines must be taken daily. You may need to be isolated and stay away from other people for a while so you do not spread TB to others.
- Your doctor may suggest that you take one or more medicines every day for up to 9 months to help prevent you from developing active TB in the future.
Depending on whether you have been diagnosed with active TB or inactive TB, you may need to take one or more of the following medications:
Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)
Anyone with inactive TB can take TB medication to lower the chance of getting sick with active TB in the future. Talk to your doctor to see if inactive TB treatment is recommended for you.
Inactive TB treatment is especially important for…
People who have:
- any medical condition that affects their immune system (e.g. HIV or Diabetes)
- been recently exposed to someone with active TB
- are immigrants, refugees or travelers from areas with lots of TB
- work at, or are residents of, health care facilities, homeless shelters, or correctional facilities
- are taking medication that can weaken the immune system (e.g. corticosteroids) or are underweight (weigh less than 90% of ideal body weight)
No, TB medication is available for free from your doctor who will order it through Public Health.
Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Lung Association/Canadian Thoracic Society. Canadian Tuberculosis Standards, 7th Edition 2013
Developed by the Middlesex-London Health Unit and adapted with permission.