➤ After the first
2 months of
treatment, it is
to take medicines
3 times a week,
instead of every
day, but not if you
have HIV or if there
is resistance to TB
medicines in your
area. Talk to a health
worker to see if you
can get this kind of
➤ If a woman is
infected by someone
with drug-resistant TB,
the germs causing her
sickness will also be
➤ Health workers
should always ask if
a person has been
treated for TB before.
If she has, she is more
likely to have drug-
Anyone who is being treated for TB should follow these rules:
• Take all the medicine for as many months as is recommended.
If you stop too soon, you may infect others, the illness will
come back, and your TB may become resistant (see below).
• Learn which side effects are normal and which are serious
for the medicines you are taking. If you have serious side
effects, stop taking the medicines and see a health worker
• Get plenty of rest and eat as well as possible. If you can, stop
working until you begin to feel better.
• Avoid spreading TB germs to others. If possible,
sleep separately from those who are not
sick with TB for one month after starting
medicines. Cover your mouth when
coughing and spit sputum into a piece of
paper. Throw it into a latrine or toilet, or
• If you give birth during treatment, your
sputum should be tested. If it is negative,
your baby should be given a BCG (Bacille
Calmette-Guerin) vaccine, but no medicines. If your sputum
is positive, your baby will need medicines. You do not need to
be separated from your baby or to stop breastfeeding.
• If possible, go to an experienced health worker to coordinate
treatment for your TB and HIV if you have both infections.
Because more medications are being taken, there is a
greater possibility of side effects.
• Stop smoking.
Resistance to TB medicines
If a person does not take enough of the right medicines, or
stops taking medicines before the treatment is finished, not all
the TB germs will be killed. The strongest germs will survive
and multiply, and then the medicine may be unable to kill
them. This is called ‘resistance’.
TB that has become resistant to both isoniazid and
rifampicin is very difficult to treat. The treatment takes
between 12 to 18 months, is often less successful, and is much
more expensive than treatment for ordinary TB. A person
with multi-drug-resistant (MDR) TB can spread the disease to
others for several months after beginning treatment.
Anyone whose sputum is still positive after 2 months of
treatment may have MDR TB. She should see a health worker
trained in treating TB to get other medicines.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012