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Is There a Tuberculosis Cure? Encouraging Progress in Treatment for TB

While merely hearing the word “tuberculosis” often fills people with dread, it is, in fact, a fully preventable and curable disease when handled correctly. Medical tuberculosis treatment is crucial for those diagnosed with the condition. As a result of recent health advances, treatment for tuberculosis (TB) is widely accessible.

While many ask, “is there a cure for tuberculosis?”, TB is a condition that’s often misunderstood. If an individual has been diagnosed with TB, they can be 100% cured, provided they have access to appropriate TB treatment. 

Tuberculosis treatment options may be available in the form of multiple drugs that must be taken correctly with the prescription of the health care provider. The only time an individual may struggle to be cured of TB is if their particular condition is resistant to certain medications. However, due to the number of options available as a TB cure, simply changing the drugs that a person is taking is often a suitable alternative. 

The take-home message regarding a cure for TB is simple: provided that all prescribed drugs are taken correctly, the condition can be completely cured. The majority of tuberculosis deaths occur as a result of incorrect medications or not following drug schedules correctly, not because the condition itself is incurable.

When an individual becomes infected with TB bacteria, the infection may lie dormant for many years. TB disease only occurs when symptoms begin to appear, as this means the tuberculosis bacteria have multiplied to a degree the immune system is unable to stop. At this stage, TB treatment will be required. 

As TB bacteria has the potential to spread rapidly, it’s important that anyone with tuberculosis disease is treated quickly and takes all medicine exactly as instructed. This can be a long process, as many instances of TB require a combination of drugs taken correctly for at least six months. But if the tuberculosis treatment is ignored or not taken appropriately, the condition will never be 100% cured. 

Multiple TB medication drugs are available, but a core selection forms the backbone of most treatment regimens. These may include: 

  • Rifampin (RIF)
  • Isoniazid (INH)
  • Pyrazinamide (PZA)
  • Ethambutol (EMB)

TB cure side effects can vary dependent on the particular drugs being taken. While some symptoms are considered normal and not harmful (such as orange-tinged urine as a result of taking RIF), some side effects may require further attention. 

If you experience unexplained weight loss, blurred vision, consistent bleeding or bruising, persistent sweating, excessive nausea, or abdominal pain, visit your doctor immediately. Whilst other medical conditions may be responsible (such as endometriosis), it’s important to establish whether current TB medication could be the cause. 

As TB treatment is typically long-term and can take months to become effective, you’ll need to attend regular check-ups with a health care professional. Be sure to always provide the list of all the tuberculosis cure drugs you’re currently taking. 

It’s also important to note that when taking TB medication, there are certain procedures you won’t be able to participate in. For example, both donating blood and donating plasma aren’t suitable for those suffering TB disease, regardless of which treatment stage you’re in. 

For more information, be sure to ask your doctor who can provide accurate answers dependent on the specific medications you’re taking.

As earlier mentioned, the question of whether tuberculosis is curable is heavily dependent on whether the type of TB is resistant to medications. 

Commonly known as multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB), this form of the condition can be very dangerous if undetected. Over time, specific TB bacteria can become immune to the effects of certain drugs. If this happens, the disease can become much more serious and difficult to treat. 

Typically, MDR TB occurs when a patient doesn’t take their prescribed TB medication pills correctly. If this is the case, you must visit your doctor as soon as possible to arrange a different course of treatment. However, the more drugs your TB is resistant to, the more challenging and expensive this is likely to be.

While there’s no denying the severity of tuberculosis, a TB cure is definitely possible when all treatment instructions are followed. Both preventative and active medications have been shown to be effective in treating tuberculosis, with a 100% cure achievable when all medications are taken correctly. 

Months of daily medications are likely to be required for a full tuberculosis cure to be achieved, but this dedication will definitely be worth it in the long run! Listening to your doctor is vital, and remaining focused on your specific treatment regimen is essential to ensure drug-resistant TB doesn’t develop. If all instructions are followed and you do everything in your power to avoid getting sick, your tuberculosis diagnosis could become a distant memory. 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tuberculosis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20351256

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/tuberculosis

https://tbfacts.org/cure-tb/

https://www.cdc.gov/tb/topic/treatment/tbdisease.htm

https://www.lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/tuberculosis/diagnosing-and-treating-tuberculosis.html

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