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A double-blind comparison of the efficacy and safety of ivermectin and diethylcarbamazine in a placebo controlled study of Senegalese patients with onchocerciasis



A double-blind comparison of the efficacy and safety of ivermectin and diethylcarbamazine in a placebo controlled study of Senegalese patients with onchocerciasis



Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 80(6): 927-934



Ivermectin (MK-933) has been compared with diethylcarbamazine (DEC) and placebo in a double-blind study in 30 adult male Senegalese patients with Onchocerca volvulus infection. 10 patients were randomly assigned to each treatment group. Ivermectin was administered as a single oral dose of 12 mg and DEC as 50 mg daily for two days and 100 mg twice daily for the following six days, total 1.3 g in eight days. Skin O. volvulus microfilaria densities remained near pre-study values in the placebo patients, but decreased rapidly with both active drugs to mean values about 2% of pretreatment (Day 8) and then increased slowly, reaching in 12 months about 4% of pre-treatment (ivermectin) and 18% (DEC). This difference is statistically significant. Clinical adverse reactions were recorded in four ivermectin, ten DEC and three placebo patients. One ivermectin and six DEC patients received steroid treatment for relief of these reactions. Serious adverse ocular changes were not seen in any patients, possibly because of the steroid therapy in the DEC patients. Adult O. volvulus from onchocercal nodules one and six months after treatment showed no effect of either drug on viability. Intra-uterine developing forms of the microfilariae appeared normal in all three treatment groups at the one month examination but deformed and degenerated forms were evident at six months in the ivermectin group but not in the DEC and placebo patients. Ivermectin as a single oral dose appears to be a safer and more effective microfilaricidal drug in human onchocerciasis than DEC in the standard multi-dose regimen.

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Accession: 039060637

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PMID: 3299905

DOI: 10.1016/0035-9203(86)90262-2


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