Arsthinol (Balarsen)

A New Trivalent Arsenical for the Treatment of Intestinal Amebiasis and other Intestinal Protozoa

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  • Department of Preventive Medicine, New York University-Bellevue Medical Center, Tropical Disease Diagnostic Service, Lower East Side Health Center, New York City Health Department, and Medical Clinic, New York Regional Office, Veterans Administration, New York
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Summary and Conclusions

A new amebicidal drug, arsthinol, has been given to 167 patients with mild or asymptomatic amebiasis, and apparent definitive elimination of E. histolytica from the stools occurred in 88 per cent of the patients treated for 5 days with daily doses ranging from 3 to 22 mg./kg. Helminths are not affected by treatment with arsthinol but associated infections with E. coli, Trichomonas hominis, Giardia lamblia and Balantidium coli were eliminated from a significant per cent of patients harboring these protozoa.

Toxic manifestations related to the skin, gastro-intestinal tract or central nervous system were noted in 12 per cent of the patients treated with arsthinol, but 80 per cent of the reactions occurred with doses above 10 mg./kg. per day and half with doses of more than 15 mg./kg. per day.

Balarsen is a useful amebicidal agent for the treatment of mild or asymptomatic intestinal amebiasis and for certain other intestinal protozoa in safe dosages, but further experience is needed to ascertain whether the good results herein reported will be applicable to more severe or acute amebic dysentery.