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Is it safe to treat TB during pregnancy?

Q: My friend is suffering from lymph node tuberculosis and is under treatment. Is it safe, if she conceives during the treatment TB?

A:Combination anti-tuberculous therapy in pregnancy was established as safe and effective in the mid 1970s. It is now believed that there is no increase in congenital malformations or fetal damage when rifampicin, isoniazid and ethambutol are used in combination. However, women who are pregnant should avoid all unnecessary medications. In many cases, women with a positive TB test who are pregnant are told to wait until they deliver to take ATT, just to be extra safe. I suggest your friend can continue ATT and see if she becomes pregnant. If she does, she can discuss with her doctor whether she should postpone taking the rest of the treatment until she delivers. However, the following antituberculosis drugs are contraindicated in pregnant women - Streptomycin, Kanamycin, Amikacin, Capreomycin and Fluoroquinolones (Ciprofloxacin / Ofloxacin).

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