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      Efficacy and safety of drug combinations in the treatment of schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiasis, lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis.

      Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

      parasitology, Soil, transmission, drug therapy, Schistosomiasis, Onchocerciasis, epidemiology, Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic, Humans, Helminthiasis, Elephantiasis, Filarial, Drug Therapy, Combination, therapeutic use, Antiparasitic Agents, Animals, Africa

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          This review concerns the efficacy and safety of combinations of various drugs, including albendazole (ALB), diethylcarbamazine (DEC), ivermectin (IVM), mebendazole and praziquantel (PZQ). There were no significant pharmacokinetic interactions when ALB-PZQ, ALB-DEC, ALB-IVM or ALB-IVM-PZQ were co-administered. ALB did not add to the cure rate of PZQ in the treatment of Schistosoma japonicum, S. mansoni and S. haematobium. ALB and DEC in combination and alone were ineffective against S. haematobium infections. No combinations (ALB-PZQ, ALB-IVM and ALB-DEC) were superior to ALB against Ascaris lumbricoides and hookworm infections, whilst IVM, but not PZQ or DEC, added to the effect of ALB in the treatment of Trichuris trichiura. Results with ALB added to single-drug therapy with IVM or DEC against lymphatic filariasis were inconclusive, but DEC and IVM in combination appeared to be superior to DEC or IVM alone. None of the drug combinations against lymphatic filariasis showed more adverse reactions than single-drug therapy. In onchocerciasis patients, ALB and IVM were safe in those also infected with lymphatic filariasis, but were not superior to IVM alone. Existing policies are based on limited knowledge. Well conducted, comparative, randomised controlled studies would greatly aid in the future use of these drug combinations.

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