Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Less Pills No Brainer

There is a change in the recommendation for treating people who have been exposed to the tuberculosis virus - or TB.  In other words, persons who test positive for TB with the tine test but who do not have symptoms or active infection. However, instead of getting into the details of this contagious and sometimes fatal lung disease, let me cut to the chase.

The usual treatment regimen for persons who meet certain conditions, like being over age 12 and not having any chronic disease conditions, consists of taking several pills, several times a day, for 9 months.  The compliance rate for this is pretty low.    [surprising]

As is the case with most things, and as I like to say, the best method, treatment, exercise activity, etc is the one the person is most likely to do.

There is a new way to treat this latent form of TB that involves a once a week drug combination that is given under supervision of a physician.  It lasts only 12 weeks - 3 months instead of 9.  You can read about it here.

I wanted to speak to this issue, even though TB is not a chronic disease nor is it related to lifestyle or obesity.  I am  one of those exposed to the virus.  It happened many years ago when I was a child.  A spouse of a family member had the disease and had to "go away" for treatment.  I had to take pills for EVER and at the time I could not swallow pills.  It was awful. I recall it was three pills three times a day, but you know how memories are.  I just remember that my dad was disappointed in me, and then one day I DID it!!!   I was so happy with myself.  It was empowering  - as silly as it seems.  I have been able to swallow pills ever since.  And I did not contract TB :)

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