Treating Tuberculosis in Pregnant Women
- Treatment usually involves isoniazid, rifampin, and ethambutol for 9 months. If the TB bacteria cannot be killed by any of these first-line medicines, then other medicines and a longer treatment time may be needed.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends pyrazinamide for treatment of pregnant women who have TB. But the safety of pyrazinamide during pregnancy has not been proven.
- Streptomycin is not used to treat TB in pregnant women, because it may cause birth defects.
- Medical experts also recommend that pregnant or breastfeeding women take vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) during treatment for TB.
- The safety of second-line medicines for a developing fetus is not known. So a pregnant woman infected with drug-resistant TB bacteria or a pregnant woman who has both TB and HIV infections should talk to her doctor about the safest treatment options.
Women being treated for active TB with first-line medicines can continue to breastfeed. The small amounts of medicine that get into the breast milk do not appear to harm a baby. Medical experts recommend that breastfeeding women should also take vitamin B6 during TB treatment.
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
Current as ofMay 17, 2017
Current as of: May 17, 2017
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