More Details on Leprosy Treatment

Reactions to Treatment for Leprosy

Some people experience certain reactions after leprosy treatment has begun. These reactions:
  • Can also occur in untreated patients, although this is less common
  • Are a response of the immune system to dead or dying bacteria
  • Can cause the leprosy rash to become worse
  • Can cause fever, swollen lymph nodes, and joint pain
  • Can cause painful inflammation of nerves (neuritis), which can affect sensation and/or strength.
Reactions can be mild or severe. If mild, no treatment, or only over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, may be needed. More severe reactions can be harmful to nerves and should be promptly treated by a physician. Corticosteroid medicines may be used to counteract a reaction, such as:

Prognosis After Treatment for Leprosy

After successful treatment, people are generally considered free of active infection. A number of symptoms can improve with treatment, such as skin lesions. Other complications, such as nerve damage, may improve very little. Worldwide, there are an estimated 2 to 3 million cases of people who have completed leprosy treatment but still have residual disabilities.

Leprosy Information

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