Volume 6, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Nitrofurazone, 5-nitro-2-furaldehyde semicarbazone (Furacin), a new trypanocidal drug, was used for the first time on human beings in the treatment of 32 patients suffering with sleeping sickness, with encouraging therapeutic results. Administered orally, the drug is readily absorbed from the intestinal tract and is effective against trypanosomes in the circulating blood and in the cerebrospinal fluid. Oral doses of 2.1 to 12.5 mg./kg. t.i.d. for seven to thirty-six days were tolerated by the patients without any permanent ill effects. During therapy some cases experienced side effects of temporary nausea and vomiting, and muscular and articular pains in the legs, which subsided within a month following cessation of therapy.

Cures were effected with nitrofurazone alone in 2 of 3 adults without central nervous system involvement; 2 of 3 children with serious C.N.S. involvement were cured with a combination of nitrofurazone and Lomidine. A so-called “cocktail treatment” of nitrofurazone in conjunction with Bayer 205, Lomidine and Arsobal produced favorable prognoses in 9 of 20 hopeless relapsing cases refractory to all previous treatment. This combination was no more toxic than any of the drugs taken separately.

In treating African sleeping sickness, particularly chronic, drug-resistant cases with severe nervous involvement, it is recommended that nitrofurazone be used orally, either alone or in conjunction with other trypanocides.


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