Friday, January 14, 2011

Tuberculosis Inhalers?

After today's lecture, I looked up information on unique treatments for tuberculosis. Originally, I wanted to find something along the lines of those baffling treatments that people used for cholera (putting bricks in the windows, growing mustaches, smoking, etc.) All I could find were a surprising amount of links to a picture of what I presume to be a doctor (probably the leading physician of his time) curing TB by sticking what looks like a giant gold plunger onto a woman's chest, which is supposed to deliver an electric shock. I hope he remembered to shout "Clear!"

I did end up finding information on something that might be slightly more useful for TB patients. Researchers at the University of Colorado (as well as University of North Carolina, and Harvard University) have developed a way to inhale antibiotics that fight MDR TB, delivering the antibiotic straight to the deep lung tissue where TB first arises. They have even experimented with aerosols that could deliver this drug through something that is similar to an inhaler used by asthma patients. The hope here is that it would cut down dramatically on cost and treatment time for TB patients, as well as less severe side effects. More information can be found here:

and here:

1 comment:

John Latto said...

There's a blog posting a couple of years ago on the use of narcotics such as various opium and heroin for TB!
Heroin is used to relieve the coughing associated with TB.

I couldn't find much on other older TB 'cures' but if you google 'consumption cures' you get a disturbing reference to 'burying in carrion'....