Clofazimine

The two classic antilepromatous drugs, dapsone and thalidomide, are referred to in other chapters of this book. Modulation of the inflammatory reaction and macrophage activity may in part explain their effects and may apply to another antilepromatous agent, clofazimine, as well. In fact, it has been successfully used in CLE (Arbisier and Moschella 1995, Krivanek and Paver 1980). Doses of 100 mg of Lamprene for 3 to 6 months improved skin symptoms in 60% of patients. The delayed effect is counteracted by only minimal side effects,mainly a pink-reddish discoloration of the skin and bodily secretions that is slowly reversible after discontinuation of the drug. This discoloration seems to be dose related, with deposits in the subcutaneous fat as well as in discoid plaques. Occasionally, gastrointestinal side effects like nausea and diarrhea may occur, as well as eosinophilic enteritis and splenic infarction.

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