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Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 1999 Sep;93(6):643-51.

Treatment of the microfilaraemia of asymptomatic brugian filariasis with single doses of ivermectin, diethylcarbamazine or albendazole, in various combinations.

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  • 1Filariasis Chemotherapy Unit, T.D. Medical College Hospital, Alappuzha, India. rkshenoy@md3.vsnl.net.in


Several new chemotherapeutic tools are now available for the control of lymphatic filariasis. Combinations of single doses of antifilarial drugs are generally superior to single drugs. The efficacy and safety of albendazole in combination with diethylcarbamazine (DEC) or ivermectin, for the treatment of Brugia malayi infection, were investigated, for the first time, in an open, hospital-based study. Fifty-one asymptomatic microfilaraemics (with 108-4034 microfilariae/ml; median = 531) of both sexes and aged 14-70 years were randomly allocated to receive single-dose treatments of ivermectin (200 micrograms/kg) with diethylcarbamazine (DEC; 6 mg/kg), ivermectin (200 micrograms/kg) with albendazole (400 mg), DEC (6 mg/kg) with albendazole (400 mg), or albendazole (400 mg) alone. Albendazole alone had no effect on the microfilarial levels at the 1-year follow-up but both groups given DEC had significantly lower microfilaraemias (P < 0.015 and P < 0.02) than that given ivermectin with albendazole. Overall, 47%-64% of those given DEC but only 14% of those given ivermectin with albendazole appeared to be amicrofilaraemic 1 year post-treatment. The adverse reactions seen in the study were mild, transient and qualitatively similar to those seen earlier with ivermectin and DEC. The combination of DEC and albendazole, both well tested drugs, offers a new option for countries such as India where there is no onchocerciasis or loiasis and where ivermectin may not be immediately available. The direct and indirect effects of albendazole on intestinal helminths would be additional benefits.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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