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Tuberculosis is Alive & Well!

Tuberculosis is alive and well, especially for individuals on medications which weaken immune system function.

The list of these immune suppressive medications has exploded over the past decade.

Doctors increasingly use medications that weaken the immune system to treat conditions like hepatitis B, hepatitis C, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and lupus. They are also used to combat organ rejection following transplantation.

When the immune system is weakened, the danger of life-threatening infections life tuberculosis or TB is very real. It is estimated that 9.5 million people residing in the U.S. have latent tuberculosis

Here is a partial list of medications that suppress your immune system.

Hepatitis B

Epivir HBV

Viread

Tyzeka

Hepatitis C

Harvoni

Epclusa

Mavyret

Pegasys

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Humira

Xeljanz

Simponi

Remicade

Enbrel

Orencia

Methotrexate

Inflectra

Psoriasis

Humira

Enbrel

Simponi

Orencia

Taltz

Stelara

Crohn’s Disease

Entyvio

Prednisone

Cyclosporine

Remicade

Inflectra

Stelara

Lupus

Imuran

Cytoxan

Benlysta

Cyclosporin

Organ Transplantation

Prednisone

Imuran

Tacrolimus

Neoral

Azathioprine

Power your path to happiness! Report symptoms of possible infection while taking the above listed wonder drugs; and when it comes to tuberculosis think fever, chronic cough, fatigue and weight loss. 

TB risk factors include living in countries with high rates of TB (Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Africa)  and working in environments or occupations with high exposure to respiratory germs (health care, immigration, customs, and public service).

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References:

U.S. Food & Drug, 2018. Hepatitis B and C Treatments. Online [available at]: https://www.fda.gov/ForPatients/Illness/HepatitisBC/ucm408658.htm  Accessed March19, 2019.

National Psoriasis Foundation, 2018. Psoriasis Treatments. Online [available at]: https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/treatments Accessed March 19, 2019.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Network, 2018. RA Treatment: What is the Safest Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis? Matthew Ezerioha, MD. Online [Available at]: https://www.rheumatoidarthritis.org/treatment/  Accessed March 19, 2019.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 2018. Treatment for Crohn’s Disease. Online [Available at]: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/crohns-disease/treatment Accessed March 19, 2019.

American College of Rheumatology, 2018. Lupus. Online [Available at]: https://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Lupus Accessed March 19, 2019