Hansen's Disease (Leprosy)

Current and Future Pharmacotherapy and Treatment of Disease-related Immunologic Reactions

Davey P. Legendre, Pharm.D.; Christina A. Muzny, M.D.; Edwin Swiatlo, M.D., Ph.D.


Pharmacotherapy. 2012;32(1):27-37. 

In This Article


Minocycline is the only tetracycline with intrinsic activity against M. leprae. Minocycline is a lipophilic molecule that passively enters the bacterial cells and exerts its action on the 30S ribosomal subunit. Although not as active as rifampin, minocycline remains an effective and useful alternative in the treatment of Hansen's disease.[54,55] It is part of single-lesion therapy recommended by the WHO, and it has been used to successfully treat patients with lepromatous leprosy at a dose of 100 mg/day.[56] Adverse effects, even with long-term treatment, are usually very mild, although skin pigmentation, gastrointestinal symptoms, and central nervous system symptoms have been reported. Minocycline should not be used in children or during pregnancy because it may deposit in tooth enamel and discolor teeth.


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