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A controlled trial of ivermectin and diethylcarbamazine in lymphatic filariasis

Ottesen, E A and Vijayasekaran, V and Kumaraswami, V and Perumal Pillai, S V and Sadanandam, A and Frederick, Sheila and Prabhakar, R and Tripathy, S P (1990) A controlled trial of ivermectin and diethylcarbamazine in lymphatic filariasis. New England Journal of Medicine, 322 (16). pp. 1113-1117. ISSN Print: 0028-4793; Online: 1533-4406

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Ivermectin is a new antifilarial drug that can be given in a single oral dose. To compare the efficacy and side effects of ivermectin with those of diethylcarbamazine, the standard antifilarial treatment, we conducted a randomized, double-blind trial in 40 south Indian men with lymphatic filariasis caused by Wuchereria bancrofti. Patients were randomly assigned to one of three treatments: a single low dose of ivermectin (mean [+ SE], 21.3+0.7 g per kilogram of body weight; n = 13) followed by placebo for 12 days; a single high dose of ivermectin (mean, 126.2+3.7 g per kilogram; n = 13) followed by placebo for 12 days; or diethylcarbamazine for 13 days (6 mg per kilogram per day for 12 days preceded by 3 mg per kilogram for 1 day; n = 14). Eleven patients were initially assigned to receive placebo and after five days were re-assigned to one of the three treatment groups. At day 12 there was complete clearance of microfilariae from the blood in all 26 men who took ivermectin and in 11 of the 14 men who took diethylcarbamazine. At six months the numbers of detectable microfilariae (as a percentage of the pretreatment values) were 18.3 percent after low-dose ivermectin and 19.5 percent after high-dose ivermectin, as compared with 6.0 percent after diethylcarbamazine (P<0.05). The side effects were confined to the first five days and were similar in the three treatment groups. We conclude that in lymphatic filariasis, the clinical response to a single dose of ivermectin compares favourably with that after the standard 12-day course of diethylcarbamazine. Given the practical advantages of single-dose administration, ivermectin should become a useful medication for the control of bancroftian filariasis.

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Item Type: Article
Subjects: Tuberculosis > Clinical Research
Divisions: Clinical Research
Depositing User: Dr. Rathinasabapati R
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2013 09:06
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2016 09:29

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