Treatment of Wuchereriasis and Onchocerciasis with Suramin Sodium

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  • National Institutes of Health, National Microbiological Institute, Laboratory of Tropical Diseases, Bethesda, Maryland

During the course of surveys and various investigations at the Liberian Institute of the American Foundation for Tropical Medicine, it was discovered that 25.6 per cent of the local population examined had onchocerciasis and that 16.4 per cent had wuchereriasis. Even though serious complications from these diseases were rare or absent, treatment was requested by many of the infected individuals. Treatment of these diseases with suramin sodium as used by the writer in Guatemala for onchocerciasis (Burch and Ashburn, 1951) was therefore made available at the Institute.

Methods. Twenty patients with onchocerciasis and 21 patients with wuchereriasis were treated with from 6 to 9 weekly intravenous injections of suramin. The initial dose was 0.5 gm., and subsequent doses were 1.0 gm. except that the medication was either omitted or given in half dosage in the presence of albuminuria. Total dosage ranged from 3.5 to 7.5 gm. and 0.08 to 0.15 gm. per kilogram.