Prognosis of Tuberculosis

Prognosis of Tuberculosis - Prognosis of TB has improved considerably over the past few decades. The disease can be cured, in most cases, with appropriate medications. TB, however, requires treatment with multiple drugs for many months for cure.

Dr Poonam Sachdev
Written by: Dr Poonam SachdevUpdated at: Mar 16, 2012 17:32 IST
Prognosis of Tuberculosis

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Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease, which most commonly attacks the lungs, but can cause infection in other organs such as kidney, bone and brain. It is an airborne disease. Millions of people die each year due to TB.


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Prognosis of Tuberculosis

Follow treatment schedule:
Long-term prognosis for most treated patients with TB is generally good. Appropriate treatment (the right drugs for right duration) can cure more than 90 percent of TB patients. Patients with TB require treatment with multiple drugs for several months. Most people improve after a few weeks upon starting treatment, but the TB bacteria are still active in their bodies. Complete cure of infection needs months of treatment. Discontinuing medication after a few months of treatment makes cure more difficult as these people may develop drug-resistant TB. Drug-resistant TB does not respond to the standard medications, needs more number of medications, is much harder to treat and has a higher risk of death than non-drug-resistant TB. To ensure good prognosis of TB, it is important to take all the medications at the recommended dose for the entire duration of treatment. Not following the recommended schedule (altering the schedule of medication, missing doses or failing to take the medication) increases the risk of complications and death in TB.

TB does not go away without treatment. Prognosis of people with untreated TB is far worse than those, who seek treatment. Estimates show that about 50 percent of people with untreated TB die within 5 years.

In some people, TB bacilli are not completely eradicated even after completion of therapy (correct medications for the recommended duration). These people may experience a relapse after the successful completion of prescribed treatment plan. These people need longer treatment perhaps with different drugs than those they received previously for cure.



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