Tuberculosis is endemic in developing countries. Its treatment is different in developing countries like Pakistan and India then the western countries. The duration of treatment of tuberculosis is long. It is 8-9 months in developing countries and 6 months in western and other developed countries. In developing countries the recurrence of tuberculosis after taking the anti-tuberculous drugs for 8 months is also not uncommon. The major reasons behind the recurrence of Tuberculosis are;
- Incompliance of patients, patients don’t take the medicine regularly. The Medicine of tuberculosis should be taken regularly for 8-9 months without interruption. Those patients who are not properly educated by their doctors about the treatment of tuberculosis, are not careful about taking their medications regularly. Some patients stop taking medicine after two or three months when they start feeling better. Some patient don’t afford the cost and stop taking medicine after one or two months. other patients stop medicine because of the side effects, especially those patients who can’t see doctor for follow-up checkups and those who don’t know what to do when they start having the side effects of tuberculosis treatment.
- Patients don’t follow the doctor’s advice. After two months of treatment, it is necessary for the patient of tuberculosis to get his fresh sputum analysis report. If his sputum is still positive for tuberculosis bacteria then the treatment is different. Then he should not be shifted to two drugs from four. He should be given the four drugs for one more month and after that he should get his another sputum analysis report. If it comes positive then he should be referred to chest specialist.
- Resistance to treatment is common in developing countries. So if a patient is diagnosed of tuberculosis then his sputum sample should be sent for culture and sensitivity for the recognition of the bacteria that has caused tuberculosis and also to find out which drug can kill this bacteria, whether this bacteria is sensitive to Myrin P Forte (drug that contain all the four drugs used to treat primary tuberculosis, ie., isoniazid, Rifampicin, Pyrazinamide and Ethambutol in proper proportion) or it is multi-drug resistant.
- Multi-drug resistant tuberculosis needs even longer duration of treatment and patient compliance is also not very good which lead to higher incidence of recurrent cases.
What to do after having recurrent tuberculosis?
If you have got recurrent tuberculosis due to any of the above mentioned reasons, do not worry go to your doctor. He will then advice you what to do. He may send your sputum for analysis and culture. He may order your fresh chest X-ray or CT. He may shift you to 2nd line drugs that are used to treat tuberculosis if the first line drugs fail to cure it. He may advise to continue the four drugs for another one or two months. He may order the addition one more drug i.e, streptomycin. It means, there are multiple ways to treat the recurrent the tuberculosis. Don’t worry, tuberculosis is a treatable disease. What you need to do is follow the doctor’s advice properly.
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