British Leprosy Relief Association
The efficacy of a four-week, ofloxacin-containing regimen compared with standard WHO-MDT in PB leprosy
aLeonard Wood Memorial Center for Leprosy Research, Cebu, Philippines
bUniversity of California, San Francisco, USA
Correspondence to: Marivic F. Balagon, LWM Center for Leprosy Research, Cebu, Philippines, PO Box 727, Cebu City, Philippines (Tel/fax: +63 32 2311601; e-mail: csc˙email@example.com)
To compare the efficacy of a 4-week ofloxacin-containing regimen and the standard WHO-MDT regimen for PB leprosy, in terms of the rate and timing of relapse after treatment completion.
124 PB patients were enrolled in a randomised, double-blind trial. Of these, 66 received the standard 6-month WHO-MDT regimen, whereas 58 received 28 daily supervised doses of rifampicin 600 mg + ofloxacin 400 mg, plus 5 months of placebo. Patients were regularly monitored for clinical response and for signs of relapse after treatment completion.
Patients enrolled in the ofloxacin group had a mean follow-up of 10.8 years (628 patient-years) with 1 early relapse at 3 years after treatment completion. On relapse, this patient remained smear negative but was reclassified by current WHO criteria (≥6 skin lesions) as multibacillary (MB). Patients on the WHO-MDT regimen had a mean follow-up of 11.3 years (749 patient-years) with two late relapses at 8 and 12 years, both still classified as PB on relapse.
In conclusion, both regimens appeared generally efficacious, and, in particular, resulted in few relapses.