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Tuberculosis - An Old Disease with a New FaceTuberculosis treatments

Almost all treatment is medicine based.


It is important to continue treatment using the prescribed medication properly. The main medications currently used for treatment are as follows:

  1. 1Rifampicin
  2. 2Isoniazid (hydrazide)
  3. 3Streptomycin
  4. 4Ethambutol
  5. 5Pyrazinamide

The most typical treatment pattern is:
1 + 2 + 4 + 5 (or swap out 4 for 3) for 2 months, and following that, 1 + 2 for 4 months.* In the past, treatment for TB took 2-3 years or longer, but now it can be completed in 6 months (short-term chemotherapy).

  • Standards for tuberculosis treatment (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare Notification No. 16, 2009. Revised on January 29, 2016)

When hospitalization is necessary

If the patient's general condition is poor, if the symptoms are severe, or if there are concerns about infecting others around them, hospitalization is necessary. With effective treatment, the bacteria should cease activity after 2-3 months, so even patients who were concerned about infecting others can return home and just visit the hospital periodically to continue treatment as an outpatient.

When surgery is necessary

Currently, surgery is seldom performed. However, if medication fails to eliminate the bacteria, then surgery can be considered.