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A double-blind randomized clinical trial of a topical herbal extract (Z-HE) vs. systemic meglumine antimoniate for the treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Iran



A double-blind randomized clinical trial of a topical herbal extract (Z-HE) vs. systemic meglumine antimoniate for the treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Iran



International Journal of Dermatology 38(8): 610-612



A double-blind randomized clinical trial was undertaken in Iran to compare the efficacy of meglumine antimonate solution (Glucantime), administered intramuscularly, with a topical herbal extract consisting of a pure extract mixture of Althaea rosea [Alcea rosea], Althaea officinalis and members of the families Leguminosae, Faliaceae, Malvaceae and Lythraceae (named Z-HE) on patients with Old World cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL; Leishmania spp.). Herbal remedies have long been used in Iran for the treatment of CL, although the efficacy of herbal extracts has not been scientifically evaluated. 171 patients diagnosed as having CL were included in the study and underwent a complete clinical evaluation; pregnant and nursing mothers and patients with serious concomitant diseases were excluded. The duration of disease in all cases was less than 4 months. The patients were divided randomly into 2 treatment groups. In group A, 86 patients were treated with topical Z-HE as a black paste applied to the lesions and covered by a dressing for 5 consecutive days, as well as with 0.5 ml of sterile normal saline as a placebo that was injected intramuscularly for 20 consecutive days. In group B, 85 patients were treated with meglumine antimonate at 15-20 mg/kg/day as intramuscular injections for 20 consecutive days, and with a topical placebo which consisted of petrolatum mixed with charcoal powder which was applied to the lesions as a black paste covered by a dressing for 5 consecutive days. Clinical evaluation was performed 6 weeks post-treatment. In group A (Z-HE), complete cure was achieved in 64 (74.4%), partial cure in 10 (11.6%) and no cure in 12 (14%) of patients. In group B (meglumine antimonate), complete cure was achieved in 23 (27.1%), partial cure in 12 (14.1%) and no cure in 50 (58.8%) of patients.

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Accession: 003342712

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 10487453

DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-4362.1999.00727.x


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