19.5  Leprosy complications and management

You will remember that you learned in Section 18.1.1 that leprosy reactions are the body’s immune response to the leprosy bacteria and are natural reactions as part of the normal course of the disease. Your patients need to understand that reactions are not adverse side-effects of MDT and do not mean that the disease is becoming worse or that the treatment is not working. Reactions can occur before, during or after the discharge of the patient from treatment.

Figure 19.3  Signs of reactions to leprosy treatment: (a) on the abdomen, (b) on the leg. (Source: WHO, 2000, as for Figure 19.1)

19.4  Discharging patients after treatment

19.5.1  Signs and symptoms of leprosy reactions