The goal of treatment is to cure the infection with medicines that fight the TB bacteria. Treatment of active pulmonary TB will always involve a combination of many medicines (usually four medicines). All medicines are continued until lab tests show which medicines work best.
You may need to take many different pills at different times of the day for 6 months or longer. It is very important that you take the pills the way your health care provider instructed.
When people do not take their TB medicines as instructed, the infection can become much more difficult to treat. The TB bacteria can become resistant to treatment. This means the medicines no longer work.
When there is a concern that a patient may not take all the medicines as directed, a health care provider may need to watch the person take the prescribed medicines. This approach is called directly observed therapy. In this case, medicines may be given 2 or 3 times a week, as prescribed by a doctor.
You may need to stay at home or be admitted to a hospital for 2 to 4 weeks to avoid spreading the disease to others until you are no longer contagious.
Your doctor or nurse is required by law to report your TB illness to the local health department. Your health care team will ensure that you receive the best care.