Therapeutic Efficacy of Allopurinol in Patients with Chronic Chagas' Disease

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  • Medical School of the National University of Cordoba, First Service of Clinical Medicine, Cordoba Hospital Student Health Service, National University of Cordoba, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Cordoba, Argentina
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Laboratory and animal studies have demonstrated that pyrazolopyrimidines have significant activity against Trypanosoma cruzi. This clinical investigation was to ascertain the efficacy of allopurinol in the treatment of chronic Chagas' disease. Of 307 patients studied, 91 were untreated; the remaining 216 were divided into 4 treatment groups. These corresponded to 600 or 900 mg/day of allopurinol for 60 days and benznidazole or nifurtimox at conventional dosage regimens. Patients were evaluated clinically, serologically, and parasitologically. Allopurinol was found to be as efficacious as the conventional therapeutic modalities in eliminating the parasitemia and rendering patients seronegative. Adverse reactions occurred in 11% of patients who received allopurinol and in 30% of those receiving nitrofurans. Reactions with the conventional therapy were more frequent and of a more serious nature. Oral allopurinol is as effective as the nitrofurans, but has none of the side effects.