II. Diagnosis

  1. See Tuberculosis
  2. Requires idenitifying acid fast Bacteria
  3. Tuberculosis Screening (TST, IGRA) is insufficient to diagnose Active Tb

III. Precautions

  1. Tuberculosis requires long-term treatment
    1. Requires at least 6 months of medications (extended as long as 24 months in some cases)
  2. Regimens for Tuberculosis treatment must be multi-drug
    1. Four drugs should be used initially until culture (returned by 6-8)
    2. Never add a single drug to a failing regimen
    3. Avoid the Susceptible Tb Treatment protocol in suspected resistant Tuberculosis
      1. See Possibly Resistant Tb Treatment
      2. See Multiple Drug Resistant Tb Treatment
  3. Patients must be monitored at least monthly
  4. Patient noncompliance is a major problem
    1. Consider intermittent therapy
    2. Consider Directly observed therapy
  5. Patients must be isolated (quarantined) until non-infectious
    1. Patient should stay in their home and wear a mask around others (or negative airflow room in facility)
    2. Non-infectious status is confirmed with three induced Sputum samples negative for acid-fast Bacteria
    3. Patients become non-infectious at 2-4 weeks after initiating antibiotics

IV. Drug Interactions

  1. Review Drug Interactions before use (esp. Rifampin)

V. Adverse Effects: Tuberculosis Medications

  1. Gastrointestinal upset
    1. Consider taking medication with food
    2. Consider Antacid use
  2. Hepatotoxin (AST 3-5x normal)
    1. See Also Hepatotoxin
    2. Consider alternatives below if advanced liver disease
    3. Drugs most likely to cause Drug-Induced Hepatitis
      1. Isoniazid
      2. Rifampin
      3. Pyrazinamide
    4. Alternative drugs if Drug-Induced Hepatitis occurs
      1. Capreomycin
      2. Fluoroquinolone
      3. Ethambutol
      4. Streptomycin
      5. Amikacin
      6. Kanamycin
  3. Peripheral Neuropathy
    1. Isoniazid (INH)
  4. Optic Neuritis
    1. Ethambutol (EMB)
  5. Gout
    1. Pyrazinamide (PZA)
  6. Ototoxicity
    1. Streptomycin (and other Aminoglycosides)
  7. Renal Toxin
    1. Streptomycin (and other Aminoglycosides)
  8. Discolored body fluids
    1. Rifampin causes red-orange Urine Color, stool color, Saliva, sweat and tears

VII. Management: Standard Adult

  1. Precautions
    1. This protocol assumes susceptible Tuberculosis
      1. See Susceptible Tb Treatment for complete description and indications
    2. Avoid this protocol in suspected resistant Tuberculosis
      1. See Possibly Resistant Tb Treatment
      2. See Multiple Drug Resistant Tb Treatment
  2. First 2 months: Four drug regimen
    1. Isoniazid
    2. Rifampin
    3. Pyrazinamide
    4. Ethambutol
  3. Next 4 months (extend to 7-10 months if Immunocompromised)
    1. Isoniazid
    2. Rifampin
  4. Monitoring
    1. Monitor Serum Creatinine (adjust doses of Ethambutol and Pyrazinamide accordingly)
  5. Adjunctive
    1. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 25-50 mg daily
      1. Indicated for Neuropathy risk (e.g. Diabetes Mellitus, Alcoholism)

VIII. Management: Special Circumstances

  1. Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection
    1. Avoid once weekly continuation phase protocols
  2. Pediatric patients
    1. Start empiric treatment immediately if suspected
      1. High risk of Disseminated tuberculosis
    2. Initial Protocol
      1. Three drug regimen indicated in most cases (contrast with adults where 4 drug regimen used)
        1. Regimen: Isoniazid, Pyrazinamide, Rifampin
        2. Ethambutol avoided due to decreased Vision risk
      2. Four drug regimen (inc. Ethambutol) indications
        1. Upper lobe infitrate
        2. Cavitation
        3. Productive cough
  3. Pregnant Women
    1. Initial Regimen: Isoniazid, Rifampin, Ethambutol
    2. Give Pyridoxine 25 mg daily (prevents Neuropathy)
    3. Do not use Streptomycin in pregnancy
    4. Pyrazinamide appears safe in pregnancy
      1. Less studied, and avoided in some regimens
      2. Give 7 month continuation phase if no Pyrazinamide
  4. Lactation
    1. May continue to Breast feed on antituberculous drugs
    2. Give Pyridoxine 25 mg daily (prevents Neuropathy)

IX. Management: Non-compliance

  1. General
    1. Compliance management is imperative
    2. Non-compliance causes treatment failures, resistance
  2. Dosing should be observed unless compliance assured
  3. Consider fixed dose combinations
    1. Rifater
      1. Contents
        1. Rifampin 120 mg
        2. Isoniazid 50 mg
        3. Pyrazinamide 300mg
      2. Treat for first 2 months of daily therapy
        1. Weight <44 kg: 4 tabs qd
        2. Weight 45-54 kg: 5 tabs qd
        3. Weight >55 kg: 6 tabs qd
    2. Rifamate
      1. Rifampin 300 mg
      2. Isoniazid 150 mg

X. Resources

XI. References

  1. (2016) Presc Lett 23(10)
  2. Swadron (2019) Pulmonology 2, CCME Emergency Medicine Board Review, accessed 6/16/2019
  3. Frieden (2003) Lancet 362:887-99 [PubMed]
  4. Nahid (2016) Clin Infect Dis 63(7): e147-95 [PubMed]
  5. Potter (2005) Am Fam Physician 72:2225-35 [PubMed]

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Related Studies

Ontology: Active tuberculosis (C0151332)

Concepts Disease or Syndrome (T047)
SnomedCT 427099000
English Active tuberculosis, Active tuberculosis (disorder), active tuberculosis
Spanish tuberculosis activa (trastorno), tuberculosis activa, Tuberculosis activa
Portuguese Tuberculose activa
Italian Tubercolosi attiva
German Aktive Tuberkulose
French Tuberculose active
Dutch actieve tuberculose
Czech Aktivní tuberkulóza
Japanese カツドウセイケッカク, 活動性結核
Hungarian Aktív tuberculosis