Leprosy elimination

MDT: side effects FAQ


How serious are the side-effects of clofazimine, such as discolouration and ichthyosis and how can they be managed?

How serious are the side-effects of clofazimine, such as discolouration and ichthyosis and how can they be managed? The discolouration caused by clofazimine usually does not cause any serious problem, except for the fact that it may be cosmetically unacceptable to some patients. The accompanying ichthyosis may predispose to certain dermatitis, especially in dry climatic conditions. This can be reduced by moistening the skin, followed by regular application of vaseline or vegetable oils and avoidance of unnecessary exposure to bright sunlight.

How long does it take to reverse the discolouration caused by clofazimine?

The discolouration caused by clofazimine is completely reversible. It starts to appear by the third month of MDT and reaches its maximum intensity by the end of the first year. After discontinuation of MDT, the discolouration starts to diminish noticeably in six months and the skin returns to its normal colour at the end of one year after stopping MDT.

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