Information for the public

Multidrug‑resistant TB

Multidrug‑resistant TB

If you are diagnosed with TB you will be asked questions and may have tests to see whether you have multidrug‑resistant TB. Multidrug‑resistant TB is much more difficult to treat because the antibiotics normally used to treat TB aren't effective. If you have multidrug‑resistant TB you will need special treatment for longer, which should be monitored carefully. It is important that you finish all your treatment.

If you are in hospital and your team thinks you have multidrug‑resistant TB, you should usually be cared for in a special single room (called a negative‑pressure room) until you are no longer infectious, or until you don't have this type of TB.

Visitors and staff should wear masks when they visit you. The hospital management should help you with the effects of being isolated for a long time, for example, by giving you free access to the internet, a telephone and a television.

You may be discharged early, if you are able to take your treatment correctly, and have your treatment monitored.

If you have had multidrug‑resistant TB, you may need regular checks for 12 months or longer after your treatment finishes to make sure the TB hasn't come back.

Questions to ask about multidrug‑resistant TB

  • Can you tell me why you have decided to offer me this particular type of treatment?

  • What will it involve?

  • How will it help me?

  • How long will it take to have an effect?

  • Are there any risks associated with this treatment?

  • How long will I need to take it?

  • How long will I need to stay in hospital? How long will I need to stay in isolation?

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