Giving your child medicines to treat tuberculosis (TB)
Tubercolosis is treated using a combination of medicines, which must be taken for six to nine months or sometimes longer. A combination is needed to prevent the bacteria becoming resistant to one or more medicines.
It is really important that your child takes the medicines as the doctor and TB nurse tell you. The medicines will only treat TB if the complete course is taken. The treatment must not be stopped without advice from your doctor, as the TB will return and may become resistant to certain medicines, making treatment more difficult. While your child is being treated at home, there is no need for any special precautions.
Some TB medicines may affect pregnancy or the unborn baby, so we may ask your daughter (if she is 12 years old or older) about her periods and whether there is any chance that she could be pregnant.
Important information about TB treatment medication
- Keep the tablets or liquid in a safe place where children cannot reach them.
- Tablets and liquids should be stored at room temperature.
- It is important to take the dose as directed by the doctor, TB nurse or pharmacist.
- If your child cannot swallow tablets, you can make them into a mixture as follows:
- Particular foods, such as chocolate pudding or jelly, can affect how the medicine is absorbed by the body. Speak to TB nurse or pharmacist if there are particular issues.
- While your child is having their treatment, it is also important that you tell your doctor, TB nurse or pharmacist about any other medicines your child is taking. This includes medicines on a prescription from your GP, medicines bought from a chemist or any homeopathic or herbal medicines.
- These medicines are prescribed specifically for your child. Do not give them to anyone else, even if they seem to have the same symptoms.
- Always order repeat prescriptions in plenty of time, at least one week before you need the tablets or liquids.
- The dose may change regularly as it is worked out according to your child’s weight. As your child grows, the dose will increase. If you are not sure about your child’s dose schedule, please check with your doctor, TB nurse or pharmacist.
- If the doctor decides to stop TB treatment, return any remaining tablets or liquid to the pharmacist. Do not flush them away.
Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) switchboard: 020 7405 9200
Pharmacy dept: 020 7829 8680
Pharmacy Medicines Information: 020 7829 8608
Last reviewed by Great Ormond Street Hospital: August 2008
Ref: 08F0268 © GOSH Trust August 2008
Compiled by the Infectious Diseases team in collaboration with the Child and Family Information Group
Please read this information in conjunction with any patient information leaflet provided by the manufacturer. However, please note that this information explains about the use of medicines in children and young people so may differ from the manufacturer’s information.
Each person reacts differently to medicines so your child will not necessarily suffer every side effect mentioned. This information does not constitute health or medical advice and will not necessarily reflect treatment at other hospitals. If you have any questions, please ask your doctor. No liability can be taken as a result of using this information.