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The hydroxynaphthoate salt of bephenium was tried 168 times against worm infections in mental patients. Tetrachloroethylene was tried 41 times for comparison.
Bephenium hydroxynaphthoate, in granular form (Alcopara®), exerted good effects against hookworm (Necator americanus). It was more effective than tetrachloroethylene. Dosages of 5.0 grams base single dose daily for 3 or more consecutive days reduced heavy hookworm infections by 95% or more with about 55% of the infections cured. Five-gram doses for 1 or 2 days greatly reduced the hookworm burden but the cure rate was low. The optimum regimen appears to be 5 grams single dose for 3 days or, for mass therapy, a single 5-gram dose.
The drug was highly effective against Ascaris lumbricoides, giving an over-all egg reduction of over 99%; 12 of 13 infections were eliminated.
Bephenium also was moderately effective against Trichuris trichiura infections. Dosages totaling 15 or more grams resulted in a substantial reduction in worm burden and produced some cures.
Of two known Enterobius vermicularis infections treated, neither was cured. A single Hymenolepis nana infection was not eliminated.
Side effects, principally vomiting, occurred in about 7 per cent of the patients. However, in only one patient was it necessary to discontinue treatment.
Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Laboratory of Parasite Chemotherapy, P. O. Box 717, Columbia, South Carolina.
Medical Staff, South Carolina State Hospital, Columbia, South Carolina.