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Reactions and their management

R Ganapati, V V Pai
Journal of the Indian Medical Association 2004, 102 (12): 688-90, 692, 694
The uneventful response to chemotherapy in leprosy is marked by clinically disturbing episodes encountered in 20-30% of patients and these phenomena are called "reactions". Generally they are classified as reversal reaction (type-1) and erythema nodosum leprosum (type-2). The cutaneous menifestations are: (1) Type-2 reactions in LL, BL types constituting erythema nodosum leprosum, erythema multiforme, erythema necroticans, subcutaneous nodules, lepromatous exacerbation. (2) Type-1 reactions in borderline and tuberculoid leprosy. The other manifestations include: Acute neuritis, lymphadenitis, arthritis, oedema of the hands and feet, ocular lesions, etc. Sequelae of reactions are: Paralytic deformities, non-paralytic deformities, extensive scarring and renal damage. A simple guideline to identify the risk-prone cases has been narrated. Prednisolone in standard dosage schedule as recommended by WHO is now being widely used in control programmes.

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