The Treatment of Visceral Leishmaniasis: Safety and Efficacy
Visceral leishmaniasis is the disease of poor; however availability of only expensive treatment of this disease impinges the socioeconomic condition of those affected. If untreated, almost all cases of visceral leishmaniasis are fatal. The demonstration of the leishmania donovani bodies from the tissue aspirates or serological tests confirms the diagnosis of the disease. Pentavalent antimony, amphotericin B, paromomycin, diamine pentamidine, miltefosine, sitamaquine and some new combinations are integrated in the limited therapeutic armoury for treatment of visceral leishmaniasis. The recommended first and second line therapy in the Indian sub-continent is miltefosine and amphotericin B respectively.Pentavalent antimonial, preceding first line therapy, has been replaced by miltefosine due to former increasing failure rate and toxicity.The problem of drug resistance, some of the serious drug toxicities along with high-priced drugs extends challenges equally to pharmaceutical companies and medical practitioners.More research on adverse drug events for the existing drugs and efforts to develop safer and effective drugs to counter resistance outbreaks for the successful management of visceral leishmaniasis are needed.
Keywords: amphotericin; miltefosine; pentavalent antimony; paromomycin.
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