Volume 100, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



A subset of multibacillary (MB) leprosy patients manifest with clinical “nonresponsiveness” to the fixed-duration, World Health Organization multidrug therapy MB regimen (WHO-MDT-MBR). The aim of this retrospective study was to assess the effectiveness and safety of alternate anti-leprosy therapy (ALT) in such patients. This is an analysis of patients’ records, registered in the leprosy clinic of our institute over a period of 6 years (2010–2015). The criteria for inadequate response/nonresponsiveness to treatment were as follows: 1) persistent/new lesions after completing ≥ 12 months of WHO-MDT-MBR (isolated reactions were ruled out histopathologically) and 2) persistent positive/increasing value of the morphological index (MI) and a 2 log increase in the bacteriological index (BI) after ≥ 12 months of WHO-MDT-MBR. Such cases were treated with ALT consisting of minocycline, clofazimine, and ofloxacin (24 months). Of 556 patients registered during the study period, 40.3% (224) were slit-skin smear (SSS) positive and 59.7% (332) were SSS negative. Of all, 35 patients (6.3%) satisfied the criteria for clinical nonresponsiveness. Of 224 SSS-positive patients, these 35 patients amounted to 15.6%. The mean BI and MI of these patients after completion of ≥ 12 months of WHO-MDT-MBR were 5.3 ± 0.6 and 14 ± 6.8%, respectively. After 6 months of treatment with ALT, MI became negative (0) in all these patients. After completion of ALT, the mean BI and MI became 1.7 ± 0.7 and 0%, respectively ( < 0.0001). There were 16 patients with corticosteroid-dependent recurrent/chronic erythema nodosum leprosum, who had excellent response with significant reduction in the number of reactional episodes and mean dose of prednisolone required ( < 0.0001). No serious adverse effects were noted. We conclude that ALT is safe and effective in the management of MB leprosy patients who are nonresponsive to 12 months of WHO-MDT-MBR.


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  • Received : 25 Mar 2018
  • Accepted : 07 Sep 2018
  • Published online : 08 Oct 2018

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