DOTS (directly-observed therapy, short-course) means that the patient taking the medicine should be observed by a nominated person, and the taking of the medicine should be recorded. This ensures that the patient takes the medication regularly, which is essential for the medicines to be effective – and to prevent the bacteria from becoming resistant and
the drug from becoming ineffective.
The best way to remember to take medicines is to get directly-observed therapy. If following the DOTS regimen, the patient will meet with a health care worker every day or several times a week. This can be at the TB clinic, your home or work, or any other
convenient location. You will take your medicines at this place while the health care worker observes.
DOTS helps in several ways. The health care worker can help the TB patient remember to take the medicines and complete the treatment. This means he/she will get well as soon as possible. The health care worker will make sure that the medicines are working as they should. This person will also watch for side-effects and answer questions about TB.
The TB patient must be checked at different times to make sure everything is going well. He/she should see their doctor or nurse regularly while taking the medicines. This will continue until the patient is cured.