How to manage pulmonary tuberculosis
Once diagnosed through a skin test or a blood test, treatment will follow. This depends on the type of pulmonary tuberculosis.
Those with latent TB may take medication to kill the bacteria. These can also prevent progression to active TB.
When diagnosed with active TB, the doctor will typically prescribe medication for 6 months, along with directly observed therapy (DOT).
Directly Observed Therapy (DOT)
DOT is a doctor-prescribed approach that ensures that completion of treatment. Because if the prescribed doses are skipped, this can make the person living with pulmonary tuberculosis resistant to medicine. With DOT, a healthcare professional helps administer medication every day or several times a week.
For those living with pulmonary tuberculosis but are not on DOT, there is still a workaround for this. It is important to make a schedule and not miss a dose of medicine when undergoing treatment. Below are a few tips to help one remember to take the prescribed medication:
- Take your prescribed medication at the same time every day.
- Indicate taking the medication on a calendar.
- Ask for help and allow someone to give reminders in taking the medicine every day.
- Be organized and keep the medicine in a pill organizer and within reach.
Possible Side Effects of TB Treatment
Within the treatment period of active TB, regular visits to the doctor is still important. This will help determine if the medication given is working well. The body’s reaction to medicine can vary from person-to-person living with pulmonary tuberculosis.
Here are a few of the known side effects that are associated with the medication taken:
- Loss of appetite wherein one can also experience an upset stomach, nausea, and vomiting
- Experiencing weakness, fatigue, or fever for more than three days.
- Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
- Itchy skin with the presence of rashes or bruising
- Yellowish skin or eyes, and changes in eyesight or blurred vision
- Dark-colored urine
Aside from consistently taking medication on time while living with pulmonary tuberculosis, it is also important to limit contact with others. Refrain from going to crowded places and wear a surgical mask around people, especially during the first weeks of treatment. Remember to always cover your mouth when coughing, sneezing, or even laughing.