Treatment of Schistosomiasis

Harry Most Department of Preventive Medicine, New York University-Bellevue Medical Center, New York, N. Y.

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For the past 35 years the principal and most widely used drugs in the treatment of schistosomiasis have been two antimony compounds: tartar emetic introduced by Christopherson (1918) and stibophen (Fuadin) a sulfonated catechol-antimony complex introduced by Khalil et al. (1929). Literally tons of these drugs have been used, largely empirically, in the treatment of this infection. The literature dealing with the subject is indeed voluminous, and as one reviews it, one cannot escape the recurring theme of pessimism in relation to the alleged shortcomings of these drugs, and one notes the oft repeated expression of hope for better drugs. The chemists and other laboratory investigators are repeatedly urged to provide such drugs, yet there are few examples of critical stock-taking on the part of the clinicans relative to the actual efficiency of the antimony compounds already available as therapeutic agents.

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