Medical Definition of Tuberculosis, drug-resistant

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 12/11/2018

Tuberculosis, drug-resistant: Tuberculosis (TB) that does not respond to standard drug treatment.

Drug-resistant TB has become a very serious problem in recent years in certain populations. For example, TB resistant to the drug isoniazid (INH) is seen among patients from Southeast Asia. The reason for this INH resistance is not quite clear. However, the presence of INH-like substances in the cough syrups in that part of the world may play a role in causing the INH resistance.

An even more serious problem is the multidrug resistant TB that has been seen in prison populations. Poor compliance (failure to take the prescribed drugs) by the inmates is thought to be the main reason for this multidrug resistance.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018