Before effective antibiotics were developed, nothing could cure leprosy. People who suffered from the disease were isolated and developed severe disfigurements. Today, doctors prescribe antibiotics to cure leprosy and kill Mycobacterium leprae (the bacteria that cause the disease). The three most commonly used antibiotics are rifampin, dapsone, and clofazimine. Because Mycobacterium leprae can be resistant to these medications individually, a combination is often used.
What Can Cure Leprosy?
Prior to the discovery of antibiotics, there was nothing that could cure leprosy. Lepers were segregated for extended periods of time and developed severe disabilities and disfigurements. Today, medicines are used to cure leprosy. Therefore, the challenge now is to identify people with leprosy early so that treatment for leprosy can begin. Early treatment can reduce the chances of any long-term disabilities that develop prior to successful treatment.
Medicines Used to Cure Leprosy
In order to cure leprosy, doctors generally prescribe antibiotics that kill Mycobacterium leprae (the bacteria that cause leprosy). Because Mycobacterium leprae can be resistant to certain antibiotics, a combination of antibiotics is often used. The three most commonly used antibiotics are:
Treatment of leprosy differs depending on the form of the disease. Treatment generally continues for one year for tuberculoid leprosy and two years for lepromatous leprosy. With treatment, less than 0.1 percent of people fail to be cured of leprosy.