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Does my child need to continue her medicines?

Q: My four-year-old daughter was diagnosed with primary complex when she was 42 months old. She had tested positive in the Mantoux test, and her chest x-ray detected a node in her lungs. I gave her anti-tuberculosis drugs for only one month. Thereafter, I stopped the medicines, as I observed a loss of appetite. She only liked to drink milk. Now her weight is only 15 kg. Is she malnourished? I was thinking of continuing or starting her medication again. Kindly advise.

A:It is not a good idea to leave the anti-tuberculosis course incomplete. From what you have described, it seems likely that she had chest tuberculosis. It should definitely be treated, otherwise there is a possibility that the infection may spread to other parts of her body. Also, there is a possibility that the causative organism may develop resistance to the usual anti-tuberculosis drugs. It then becomes very difficult to treat. Therefore, it is important that she is re-evaluated by her doctor and re-started on medication. Please do not start drugs on your own. Let her first be re-assessed. Her weight (15 kg) is a little less for a four year old, but not so low as to be called malnutrition. If she is treated of her infection, she shall regain her appetite and weight gain will also occur.


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