If you have latent tuberculosis, you may need to take only one or two types of TB drug. Active tuberculosis, particularly if it's a drug-resistant strain, will require several drugs at once. The most common medications used to treat tuberculosis include:
- Rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane)
- Ethambutol (Myambutol)
If you have drug-resistant TB, a combination of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones and injectable medications, such as amikacin or capreomycin (Capastat), are generally used for 20 to 30 months. Some types of TB are developing resistance to these medications as well.
Some drugs may be used as add-on therapy to the current drug-resistant combination treatment, including:
- Bedaquiline (Sirturo)
- Linezolid (Zyvox)
The TB treatment usually lasts for 6-9 months. This is for an entire recovery and prevent any relapse. If the treatment isn't thorough, when TB comes back again it can be drug-resistant.