In clinical trials of dehydroemetine, a new synthetic compound, the results in acute amebic dysentery were similar to those obtained with emetine hydrochloride, and 17 of 19 patients with amebic liver abscess apparently were cured. Significant toxicity was not encountered.
Before claims to replace the established position of emetine hydrochloride in the treatment of amebiasis can be advanced, more extensive, long-term experience of dehydroemetine is necessary. Nevertheless the advent of this drug represents a significant step towards the development of a less toxic and more efficient emetine-like compound.
The Amoebiasis Research Unit is sponsored by the following bodies: The South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, University of Natal, Natal Provincial Administration, United States Public Health Service (Grant E-1592).