Skip navigation
Timeline / Citizenship, Services, and Sovereignty / 1946: Antibiotics treat leprosy

1946: Antibiotics treat leprosy

The first antibiotics to treat leprosy become available. Called sulfones, in pill form they are well absorbed orally, and they tend to remain active for a long time after the completion of therapy. For leprosy patients, an important aspect of these drugs is that they concentrate in afflicted skin tissue, making this therapy the beginning of the end of Hawai‘i’s leprosy epidemic.