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Pharmacovigilance of Miltefosine in Treatment of Visceral Leishmaniasis in Endemic Areas of Bihar, India

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  • 1 Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Indian Council of Medical Research, Patna, India.
  • | 2 Sadar Hospital, East Champaran, Bihar, India.
  • | 3 Directorate of National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), Delhi, India.
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Miltefosine, the only oral drug for visceral leishmaniasis (VL), is being used as the first-line drug under the VL elimination program in the Indian subcontinent. Miltefosine is an oral drug which was used as a topical application for skin metastasis of breast cancer. It was found to be effective against Leishmania donovani. The main adverse events (AE) reported previously with miltefosine use includes diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration. Other AEs include, raised serum alanine transaminase/aspartate aminotransferase and renal parameters such as creatinine. In this study, we report AEs in a large patient cohort of VL treated with miltefosine. The purpose of this pharmacovigilance study was to assess adverse drug reactions (ADRs)/AE of miltefosine treatment under unrestricted condition in the field setup. Patients were followed up to 6 months for therapeutic effectiveness. Outcomes of a larger data set of patients treated with this regimen from April 2012 to March 2015 were recorded. In the present study, 646 patients of VL were given miltefosine. Majority of the study subjects (58%) were male. Relapse occurred in 7% during follow-up period. Main causes of death were VL–pulmonary tuberculosis coinfection, extreme diarrhea, and acute pancreatitis which were reported in 1.7% subjects. Of 553 (85.6%) patients completing full course of treatment, 463 (83.7%) showed ADR with miltefosine during the study period. About 2.3% were suffering severe ADR, 51% from moderate, and the rest had mild ADR. The initial and final cure rate was 97.4% and 85.6%, respectively.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Pradeep Das, Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Indian Council of Medical Research, Agam Kuan, Gulzarbagh, Patna 800007, India. E-mail: drpradeep.das@gmail.com

Financial support: This work was supported by NVBDCP/World Bank (grant no. 3-87/2008-09/NVBDCP/WB/RMRI/Pharmaco).

Authors' addresses: Krishna Pandey, Vidyanand Ravidas, Niyamat A. Siddiqui, Sanjay K. Sinha, Rakesh B. Verma, and Pradeep Das, Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Indian Council of Medical Research, Patna, India, E-mails: drkrishnapndey@yahoo.com, drvnrdas@yahoo.com, niyamatalisiddiqui@yahoo.com, sinhask70@yahoo.com, rbihariverma@yahoo.com, and drpradeep.das@gmail.com. Tripurari P. Singh, Sadar Hospital, East Champaran, Bihar, India, E-mail: drtpsinghmd@gmail.com. A. C. Dhariwal and R. K. Das Gupta, Directorate of National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), Delhi, India, E-mails: dracdhariwal@gmail.com and rkdasgupta2003@yahoo.com.

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