@tinaesims Hi Tina. The 'Big 3' is a three antibiotic combo that most doctors put their patients on who have mac.
The usual ones they prescribe are: Ethambutol, Rifampin, and Clarithromycin, or Azithromycin. Insist that a susceptibility test is done to make sure the meds they choose for you will work on your particular strain of MAC. Also, INSIST on a baseline hearing and eyesight test. The eyesight test should be with an ophthalmologist. This is important as some of these drugs can give you permanent eyesight and hearing loss. Do not let this dissuade you as many patients take these with minimal issues. Nowadays, many doctors are substituting the Ethambutol with inhaled Amikacin. Doing an inhaled antibiotic is supposed to be more beneficial as it delivers the medication straight to the lungs and puts less strain on the other organs. The rifampin and the ethambutol can cause stomach cramps. There are lots of helpful hints on how and when to take them to limit the side-effects. Let me know if you go them and have side effects, let me know. I can help find the helpful hints for you. How soon do you think you will make your decision on the Big 3?
He is waiting for the septum test to come back. I was diagnosed 6 months ago via bronchioscope. I'm not sure how to spell it because I couldn't cough up anything. Did a 6 month CT Scan and my bronchietisis is worse than 6 months ago. I've had it for 10 years and for 4 years I had no coughing at all. He fears it is from the MAC. I just got a nebulizer and the 7 percent saline. I got that from this discussion group. He was great with it. I took my husband with me and he said he would help however he can! It's interesting because he said according to my CT Scan I should not be looking and breathing as well as I am.