Tuberculosis Home > Directly Observed Therapy Program

In a directly observed therapy program, patients with tuberculosis meet with a healthcare worker every day or several times a week. During these meetings, the healthcare worker will monitor the patient as he or she takes the tuberculosis medication. The healthcare worker will also monitor the patient for signs of side effects from the medication. The directly observed therapy program ensures that the patient will complete the course of treatment until he or she is cured of tuberculosis.

An Overview of a Directly Observed Therapy Program

The best way to remember to take your tuberculosis medication is to get involved with a directly observed therapy program. As part of a this program, you will meet with a healthcare worker every day or several times a week. You will meet at a place you both agree on. This can be the TB clinic, your home or work, or any other convenient location. You will take your medicine at this place while the healthcare worker watches.

Benefits of a Directly Observed Therapy Program

A directly observed therapy program helps in several ways. The healthcare worker can help you remember to take your medicine and complete your tuberculosis treatment. This means you will get well as soon as possible. With a directly observed therapy program, you may need to take medicine only 2 or 3 times each week instead of every day.
The healthcare worker will make sure that the medicine is working as it should. This person will also watch for side effects and answer questions you have about tuberculosis.
Even if you are not part of a directly observed therapy program, you must be checked at different times to make sure everything is going well. You should see your doctor or nurse regularly while you are taking your medicine. This will continue until you are cured.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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