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April 13, 1957


JAMA. 1957;163(15):1362. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02970500046013

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The really critical period in treatment of tuberculosis falls in the first few days or weeks after diagnosis. Into this brief time are crowded the initial clinical findings and decisions, the formation of the patient's attitudes toward his disease, and the establishment of protective measures for the family.

The choice of an effective and tolerated drug regimen is of first importance. Inadequate drug administration may result in irrecoverable damage to the patient, resulting in the failure to attain maximum regression or cavity closure, or in early development of bacterial resistance to drugs. The latter may lead to incomplete healing, to relapse at a later date, or to prolongation of the period of positive sputum.

Too often, the desired continuous long-term administration of two antituberculosis drugs is not carried out when the patient remains at home. As humans will, he forgets to take his medicine regularly. He finds one of his

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