A question about TB medication

  1. This is a question is not related to a patient but to myself.
    So, last month I went to my local health department for an x-ray to update TB for my school (my previous PPD was already positive). The results came up negative. I then went ahead and set an appointment to get my INH medications with them and they scheduled the appointment on the 28th. The day comes and I go in and expects a quick process. Instead, the receptionist tells me that the doctor did not recommand me for the medications when the x-ray results came back and that I was not going to get the medications. I then fought with them and talked them into calling the doctor to confirm. Hours later, I receive a call saying to go to them today to get my meds. They still did not give me the meds today but that was for another reason.
    My point is, and please correct me if I'm wrong, isn't INH always recommended for nine month when the PPD is + even though the chest x-ray is -?? I mean, that was what I was taught at nursing school. A + ppd means that I have been exposed to TB and the x-ray tells me if I have the TB disease or just TB infection.
    I asked my friend, who is also another nursing student, and she added that if I'm INH then I have to get a blood sample every month?? Is this true??
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  3. by   IndyGal
    I'm totally unqualified to comment on any kind of medical treatment, but I can tell you my story. I test positive for TB with the PPD skin test but my x-rays are always clear. I've never gone on medication. My current doctor told me current protocol is to put the people with latent TB on meds anyway, but it's been so long since I had my first positive skin test (18 years) that he didn't see any point in starting me now. I'm required to submit a new chest x-ray every two years for the volunteer work I do, but that's about it.

    My brother developed active TB in college and went on medication and he did have to get blood drawn every 4 weeks or so to check liver function and such. The anti-TB meds can have some pretty serious side effects.
    Last edit by IndyGal on Aug 31, '06
  4. by   MU/WVUGRADRN
    I know several nurses who have positive TB tests. When the rest of us are screened with the TB test, these nurses have their chest xrays done. As long as their chest xrays are negative they do not need any TB meds.

    Down and dirty, simplistic thinking, the meds are given only when they are needed to treat the disease - no treatment needed for a positive TB test and a negative chest xray.
  5. by   P_RN
    Sorry but this is getting into Medical Advice which by the terms of service we can't do here. Go by what your health care professional advises.

    Thread closed.