Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Infect Dis. 2007 Feb 1;195(3):322-9. Epub 2006 Dec 21.

Equivalence trial of melarsoprol and nifurtimox monotherapy and combination therapy for the treatment of second-stage Trypanosoma brucei gambiense sleeping sickness.

Author information

Institute of Tropical Medicine, Department of Parasitology, Antwerp, B-2000 Antwerp, Belgium.



Treatment of second-stage sleeping sickness relies mainly on melarsoprol. Nifurtimox has been successfully used to cure melarsoprol-refractory sleeping sickness caused by Trypanosoma brucei gambiense infection.


An open, randomized trial was conducted to test for equivalence between the standard melarsoprol regimen and 3 other regimens, as follows: standard melarsoprol therapy (3 series of 3.6 mg/kg/day intravenously [iv] for 3 days, with 7-day breaks between the series); 10-day incremental-dose melarsoprol therapy (0.6 mg/kg iv on day 1, 1.2 mg/kg iv on day 2, and 1.8 mg/kg iv on days 3-10); nifurtimox monotherapy for 14 days (5 mg/kg orally 3 times per day); and consecutive 10-day melarsoprol-nifurtimox combination therapy (0.6 mg/kg iv melarsoprol on day 1, 1.2 mg/kg iv melarsoprol on day 2, and 1.2 mg/kg/day iv melarsoprol combined with oral 7.5 mg/kg nifurtimox twice a day on days 3-10). Primary outcomes were relapse, severe adverse events, and death attributed to treatment.


A total of 278 patients were randomized. The frequency of adverse events was similar between the standard melarsoprol regimen and the other regimens. Encephalopathic syndromes occurred in all groups and caused all deaths that were likely due to treatment. Relapses (n=48) were observed only with the 3 monotherapy regimens.


A consecutive 10-day low-dose melarsoprol-nifurtimox combination is more effective than the standard melarsoprol regimen.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
    Loading ...
    Support Center