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Blood. 1997 Apr 1;89(7):2298-302.

Treatment of chronic graft-versus-host disease with clofazimine.

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Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Clofazimine (Lamprene) is an antimycobacterial drug that has antiinflammatory activity in a number of chronic autoimmune skin disorders. We report 22 patients treated with clofazimine for chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD). The initial dose was 300 mg orally in a single daily dose for 90 days. After 90 days, the dose was lowered to 100 mg orally each day and the medication continued indefinitely as tolerated. Treatment courses lasted 7 to 835 days and were generally well tolerated. Gastrointestinal side effects occurred in eight of 22 patients (36%) and hyperpigmentation was noted in 12 of 22 patients (55%), which resolved upon decrease or discontinuation of the drug. Over 50% of patients with skin involvement, flexion contractures, or oral manifestations achieved complete or partial responses. Seven of 22 patients (32%) were able to reduce other immunosuppressive medications. Thus, clofazimine is safe and has encouraging efficacy in cGVHD, particularly if sclerodermatous skin, joint contractures, or oral manifestations are present. The mechanism by which clofazimine induces a response is unknown, but might be secondary to suppression of alloreactive T-cell function in cGVHD target organs. Clofazimine deserves further study for the treatment of cGVHD.

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