Feasibility of multidrug therapy (MDT) in Hansen's disease in an urban population--Curupaiti State Hospital, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The acceptance of the WHO regimen in a group of 220 patients was approximately 84.5%. Only 11% abandoned the treatment, and the substitution of ethionamide or prothionamide for clofazimine due to excessive hyperpigmentation was necessary in only eight cases. The WHO regimens adopted provided a more frequent (monthly) relationship between the patients and their health service. It was necessary to: a) reorganize the technical-administrative infrastructure, with the intention of providing an improved service to the patients for treatment and control; and b) pay more attention to the problem of deformities and health education activities. As for the side effects of the drugs, 54 patients showed alterations in their liver function tests, which were usually mild and which resolved despite continuation of the treatment. Of the reactional episodes observed during MDT, it would not appear that the therapeutic regimens contributed to their occurrence or aggravation.