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Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis | Print |

Multi-drug Resistant TB (MDR TB) is tuberculosis disease in which the TB bacterium is resistant to both Isoniazid and Rifampin, the two strongest anti-tuberculosis medications. TB can become resistant to antibiotics when the drugs are misused or mismanaged, when patients do not complete their full course of treatment; when health-care providers prescribe the wrong treatment, the wrong dose, or length of time for taking the drugs; or when the drugs are of poor quality. Treating MDR TB is complicated and involves the use of second-line medications that carry greater risk of side effects and adverse reactions. Patients taking these drugs must be monitored closely throughout the course of treatment. The regimen usually requires at least 18-24 months and must be individualized based upon the patient’s medical history. Treatment for patients co-infected with HIV can be more complicated, usually further lengthening treatment time.

Extensively drug resistant TB (XDR TB) is a relatively rare type of MDR TB. XDR TB is defined as TB which is resistant to isoniazid and rifampin, plus resistant to any fluoroquinolone and at least one of three injectable second-line drugs (i.e., amikacin, kanamycin, or capreomycin). Because XDR TB is resistant to first-line and second-line drugs, patients are left with treatment options that are much less effective.

Both MDR TB and XDR TB are very rare in Fulton County.


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