Oral Emetine in the Treatment of Intestinal Amebiasis

Bliss C. Shrapnel Gorgas Memorial Laboratory, Republic of Panama, and The Medical Service, Gorgas Hospital, Ancon, Canal Zons

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Twenty-five adults and five children with intestinal amebiasis, including acute and chronic forms, were treated with emetine hydrochloride enteric-sealed tablets (Lilly), orally. Adults were given two grains daily for twelve days, and the children one grain daily for twelve days. No nausea or vomiting, nor other toxic symptoms were manifested. Nineteen of the adults, and all of the five children, were re-studied, as hosp tal patients, in from two to nine months following original treatment. Clinical cure was obtained in all cases, but parasitological cure failed in one adult, who was found to harbor E. histolytica trophozoites, seven months after receiving the drug.

The results obtained in this study indicate that emetine hydrochloride, in enteric-sealed tablets, administered orally, provides a concentration of emetine in the intestinal tract which closely approaches the amebicidal concentration necessary to eradicate the parasite, without producing toxic side effects.

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