DR. MJ Bazos MD, Patient Handout
Tuberculosis: Treatment of Active Tuberculosis
What is tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis (say: "too-burr-cue-los-sis"), also called TB, is an infection caused by a bacteria (a germ). Tuberculosis usually affects the lungs, but it can spread to the kidneys, bones, spine, brain and other parts of the body.
What does my test show?
Your tuberculosis skin test shows that you have active tuberculosis in your lungs (also called pulmonary tuberculosis). Tuberculosis is a serious disease that must be treated. Tuberculosis is easily spread from person to person, so your friends, coworkers and any people who live with you need to be tested, too. 
The good news is that tuberculosis can almost always be cured with medicine. Your doctor will prescribe several medicines to fight the germ that causes tuberculosis. It is important that you take all of the medicine and not miss one dose.
What is the treatment for active tuberculosis?
You will take several medicines to control the germ that causes tuberculosis. It's very important that you take all the medicine given to you. For the medicines to work at curing your tuberculosis, you must not skip a single dose.
Avoid drinking alcohol or taking acetaminophen (brand name: Tylenol) while you're taking the tuberculosis medicine. Tell your doctor about any other medicines you may be taking.
Your doctor may also order several sputum and blood tests to be done while you are being treated for tuberculosis. (Sputum is phlegm coughed up from deep inside the lungs.) These tests can be done by the nurse or at a clinic.
Call your doctor immediately if you have any of the symptoms listed here:
  • Abdominal pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Continued loss of appetite
  • Dark (coffee-colored) urine
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Rash or itching
  • Tingling or burning feeling in your hands or feet
  • Tiredness without reason
  • Vomiting
  • Yellow color of eyes or skin