I started out on the big three daily. I couldn’t tolerate them. (I think it was the Rifampin I couldn’t tolerate.) A year later my CT scan showed significant growth of the MAC and my doctor offered me a way to not have to take the Rifampin and only take the Clarithromycin 3 days a week. I’m still taking the ethambutol daily – but I take it with food to prevent nausea. I got immediate and good results from this. Before I started I couldn’t stop coughing 24/7. I would cough to the point of gagging and almost throwing up or passing out. The tickle was so bad my eyes would water, nose run, etc. I couldn’t sleep. I lost tons of weight. The cough would no sooner stop then it would start up again almost immediately. The meds helped stop this within 48 hours. I still have some coughing now but it’s nothing like it was and it’s not tickle driven. It’s more like my throat is full of mucous, etc. I occasionally cough up mucous that tastes like stomach contents but it’s not more than once a week usually. I believe some of my coughing and coughing up now is made worse by what I eat and by emotional stress.
I hope, soon, you begin to feel that you are responding or, at least aren’t worse on the every three day routine. From what I’ve read the research backs up the fact that the three times a week routine is just as effective as daily. I would also think there would be less harm to the body and less disruption to the gut flora, oral flora, and mucous membrane flora that can really get screwed up from antibiotic use.
I’m to the point now that I feel more safe and secure on the antibiotics and I assume that anything I am having in the way of symptoms would be worse if I wasn’t on the antibiotics. I wish I could take all three of the usual drugs. I am grateful I can tolerate the two I’m on. I hope and pray you will get a good response or that you will feel secure with what you are taking or will contact your doctor to either try to make you feel secure or to put you back on the daily routine if that made you feel more secure. So much of getting better from this thing for me seems to be related to stress reduction and insecurity reduction. -Chris