Volume 48, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



To compare the efficacy and tolerability of various combinations of low- and high-dose ivermectin and diethylcarbamazine (DEC), 59 persons with microfilaremia were enrolled in a double-blinded six-arm clinical trial in Leogane, Haiti. On day 1, study participants were treated with low clearing doses of ivermectin, DEC, or placebo; on day 5 they received 200–400 µg/kg of ivermectin or 6 mg/kg of DEC. Adverse reactions, which were generally mild, occurred more frequently with ivermectin than with DEC. One year after treatment, the geometric mean microfilarial density returned to 0.9% of pretreatment levels for persons who received a total of 420 µg/kg of ivermectin. This rate was significantly lower than 5.6% for persons who were treated with 220 µg/kg of ivermectin ( = 0.02) and 9.3% for those receiving 6 or 7 mg/kg of DEC ( = 0.006). Persons treated with a clearing dose of ivermectin followed by 6 mg/kg of DEC also had low microfilarial densities (1.7% of pretreatment levels), suggesting an additive or synergistic effect of the two drugs. The addition of a clearing dose neither reduced the severity of adverse reactions nor improved the efficacy of high-dose ivermectin. Community-based intervention trials are now warranted to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of mass chemotherapy with single high-dose ivermectin for the prevention and control of lymphatic filariasis.


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