We need people – people like those in TB Alert, who are focused and ambitious and care for people at grass roots in the UK, India and Africa. Dr Lucica Ditiu, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership
The side effects of TB drugs depend on the regimen of treatment. They range from mild but annoying to severe and potentially life threatening. Sometimes, they will warrant a change of medication. In general, the first line drugs used to treat drug-sensitive TB are better tolerated than the second line medications for drug-resistant TB.
Recognised side effects include:
- Nausea and vomiting – vomiting can prevent medication from being absorbed
- Orangey red urine, tears and other bodily secretions – from Rifampicin
- Reduced effectiveness of the contraceptive pill - Rifampicin
- Pins and Needles
People with TB should be tested for liver and kidney problems before starting treatment. If there are concerns over their liver or kidney function, careful monitoring throughout treatment will be needed. People with HIV who are taking antiretroviral therapy in addition to TB drugs may have more problems with side effects from some TB drugs. They will need to be monitored throughout treatment, and may need dose adjustments.
There are a number of treatment strategies for side effect management, including Directly Observed Treatment (DOT). With support, most people with TB are able to manage the side effects of the drugs effectively.
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