Clofazimine: an old drug for never-ending diseases

Future Microbiol. 2020 May;15:557-566. doi: 10.2217/fmb-2019-0231. Epub 2020 Jun 1.


Clofazimine (CFZ), an old hydrophobic riminophenazine, has a wide range of antimycobacterial activity ranging from leprosy to nontuberculous mycobacterial diseases. CFZ has several advantages such as a favorable pharmacokinetic profile, dose-dependent side effects as well as low price. In this narrative review, we have assessed the clinical development of CFZ, starting from the potential in vitro mechanism of actions, to the spectrum of side effects and potential drug-drug interactions, highlighting its current place in therapy and future possible use in leprosy, nontuberculous mycobacterial diseases and drug-resistant tuberculosis.

Keywords: MDR-TB; NTM; XDR-TB; clofazimine; leprosy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Clofazimine / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Humans
  • Leprosy / drug therapy*
  • Leprosy / microbiology
  • Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous / drug therapy*
  • Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous / microbiology
  • Mycobacterium leprae / drug effects
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / drug effects


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Clofazimine