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Tuberculosis

Preganacy and Isoniazid

02/18/2009

Question:

I had a positive PPD skin test with no symptoms of active TB and was prescribed a nine-month course of isoniazid (300mg). I am interested in getting pregnant soon and wanted to know if it is safe to get pregnant while on the isoniazid?

Answer:

Yes, Isoniazid is considered safe in pregnancy. It is used worldwide for the treatment of active tuberculosis during pregnancy. That said, if you do become pregnant, it is ultimately up to you and your OB/GYN whether you want to continue Isoniazid during the pregnancy.

The higher the risk of developing active TB, the more important it is to take the Isoniazid, even while pregnant. The higher risk groups are: persons with recent conversion of the skin test (IE negative test within the past 2 years and now a positive), recent immigration from high risk country (India, China, Africa, southeast asia, etc.), exposure to a person known to have tuberculosis. Medical problems resulting in suppression of your immune system like: Diabetes, HIV infection, kidney failure, taking immunosuppressive medications. It is worth having a conversation with the prescribing physician to understand how high your risk of tuberculosis is.

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Response by:

Catherine A Curley, MD, MS Catherine A Curley, MD, MS
Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University