Tuberculosis – Preventive treatment

In this pamphlet you can read about preventive treatment of tuberculosis if you have been exposed, and how tuberculosis infect.

You have been diagnosed with latent TB infection

To treat your latent TB infection, take one tablet isoniazid/pyridoxin once a day. It is important to take all your medication.

What is Latent TB Infection?

”TB” is short for a disease called tuberculosis. TB is spread through the air from one person to another. People who become infected with TB bacterias, but do not feel sick have what is called latent TB infection. The reason a person does not feel sick is because the TB bacterias are latent, or inactive (sleeping), in their body. A person with latent TB infection has no symptoms and cannot spread TB bacteria to others.

Why Take Treatment for Latent TB Infection?

  • A person with latent TB infection can have TB bacterias in their body for years before getting sick.
  • Taking TB medicines is the only way to kill the TB bacterias in your body
  • Taking your medicines for latent TB infection can prevent you from developing TB disease in the future.

What is the Medicine You Will Take for 6 months?

You will take one tablet (Isoniazid/Pyridoxin) once a day for six months.

The medicine is free and you will get it from the hospital.

Side Effects

The medicine is usually tolerated without problems, but in some cases side effects might occur:

  • Tingling or numbness in hands and feet. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxin) is added to the tablet to prevent this.
  • No appetite
  • Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain
  • Skin rash or itching
  • Yellowing of the eyes
  • Fever
  • Mental problems: loss of memory, difficulty in concentrating and mood swings

Before you start this treatment plan, tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines. If you see another doctor, be sure to tell him or her that you are being treated for latent TB infection.

When taking your TB medicine, it is important to follow all instructions given by your doctor or nurse.

Take Your Medication: Every Dose Matters and some of these tips might help you to remember:

  • Use a calendar to check off the days you have taken your medicine
  • Set an alarm for the time you need to take your medicine
  • Write yourself a note as a reminder to take your medicine. Put it in a place where you can see it, like on your bathroom mirror or on your refrigerator
  • Ask a family member or friend to help you remember

Can I be sure to avoid TB?

Isoniazid does not protect 100% against the development of active TB, but the risk is significantly reduced.

When you have ended the preventive treatment, you may be infected again (if you get exposed). But the risk of developing active TB will be less than before the preventive treatment.