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


Corticosteroids provide symptomatic relief from a reversal (type 1) reaction frequently within 1 week. Prednisone 1 mg/kg up to 80 mg/day tapered over several months can be used. The dose may be increased by 20 mg/day if symptoms persist after initiation of therapy. Prednisolone is available as an oral solution that may be used in place of prednisone. Long-term use of high-dose corticosteroids certainly has complications associated with adrenocortical atrophy and hypoalbuminemia. Myopathy, osteoporosis, ocular effects, hyperglycemia, and skin reactions are just a few of the major adverse effects that must be monitored and addressed throughout the treatment. Some practitioners will also prescribe a bisphosphonate, such as alendronate, to prevent osteoporosis.


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