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Brochure: Getting support on your treatment journey

Brochure: Getting support on your treatment journey
Publication date: 
Feb 2021

Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by a bacteria or germ that most often affects the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body. TB can be treated and cured if you take your medication as explained to you by your nurse or doctor. It is safe to take TB treatment if you have HIV and are taking ARVs, if you are pregnant, or if you are on medication for other health problems. It is easy to catch TB by breathing in the bacteria which is carried in the air.

TB CAN BE TREATED AND CURED

TB can be treated and cured if you take your medication as explained to you by your nurse or doctor. It is safe to take TB treatment if you have HIV and are taking ARVs, if you are pregnant, or if you are on medication for other health problems.

Talk to your nurse or doctor about what medications you are taking, and how best to take your TB treatment so that it does not prevent your other medications from working effectively.

TB TREATMENT TAKES TIME

You will need to take your TB medication every day for six months or more. You will start to feel better soon after starting the medication. Even after you start to feel better, the bacteria is still alive in your body. You are only cured of TB when the medication has killed all the TB bacteria.

If you stop taking TB treatment before your nurse or doctor tells you that you are completely cured, then the treatment will not work for you in the future. You may get sick again and then you will need to take different medication, for longer.

GETTING SUPPORT ON YOUR TREATMENT JOURNEY

When you start TB treatment, your nurse or doctor will help you to join a directly observed treatment (DOT) programme where somebody will help you to take your medication every day. It is important to get support from someone you trust who can remind you to take your treatment and keep you motivated to get healthy again.

TAKING YOUR MEDICATION

Take your TB treatment at the same time every day. It is best to take the pills with water an hour before or an hour after eating, so that you do not feel nauseous. If you forget to take your treatment or miss a day, do not take two doses at the same time.

Take your medication at the usual time the next day. If you miss treatment for more than two days, speak to your nurse or doctor as soon as possible.