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Satyamev Jayate season 3 episode 4: 5 things you didn't know about MDR TB

Written by Pavitra Sampath |Published : October 27, 2014 1:19 PM IST

MDR TB or multi-drug resistant TB is a form of Tuberculosis that is not treatable by first line drugs commonly used for the treatment of Tuberculosis. While this term seems to be fairly common,here is what you need to know about the dreaded form of the disease.

India is the world's capital of TB: Every year, around 440000 new cases of MDR-TB emerge resulting in 150000 deaths. India had an estimated 63,000 notified cases in 2010, the highest in the South East Asia region.

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Not taking medication is the leading cause of the disease: According to Dr Animesh Arya, Senior Consultant, Respiratory Medicine, Delhi based Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, Since the treatment for TB is quite long (minimum 6 months), patients tend not to take medication for the whole period. Once they start feeling better, they tend to discontinue the medication. This is a leading cause for the increase in the number of people suffering from TB and giving rise to a larger number of drug resistant cases of TB (or MDR TB).

There are experimental drugs to treat the disease: Since the condition is quickly taking on epidemic proportions, scientists have been trying to find new ways to kill the bacterium. One such study involves the use of leprosy drugs by doctors to treat MDR-TB.

The drugs have extremely harsh side-effects: Recently there was news that one of the drug being used to treat tuberculosis had led to the suicide of a patient. Known to cause depression and suicidal tendencies as a side effect, this drug is still in use as its positive effects far outweigh its ill effects. While this is simply one of those drastic side effects, other drugs have more severe reactions, making this a leading cause for people to discontinue their medication. Dr Mihir says, Even though we administer anti-TB drugs after we check the weight and height of a patient (a norm while deciding the concentration of dosage of the drug) many patients are not able to stay on the regimen due to the side effects the drugs have, making their situation worse.

Not living a healthy lifestyle makes you susceptible to the disease: When a person is diagnosed with TB their life is changed forever. According to Dr Mihir, People must remember that TB is a completely curable disease. All they have to do is eat their medicines regularly, visit their doctor periodically and live healthy. People with this disease must eat healthy, and extremely nutritious food in order to boost their metabolism strengthening it to fight the onslaught of the infection. Not living a healthy lifestyle even after being diagnosed can lead to either relapse of the disease or delay the entire process ultimately frustrating the patient.

Image Source: Getty Images

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