Experimental Therapy of Onchocerciasis with Suramin and Hetrazan; Results of a Three-Year Study

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Hetrazan had a spectacular and immediate effect against the microfilariae of Onchocerca volvulus but since it did not destroy the adult worms the disappearance of microfilariae was only temporary. Intravenous suramin, on the other hand, caused a more gradual disappearance of the microfilariae but since it also killed the adult worms, this disappearance was permanent in about 90 per cent of cases. Simultaneous treatment with intravenous suramin and oral Hetrazan combined the rapid action of Hetrazan with the permanent effect of suramin. Considering the added inconvenience of the additional treatment, it was not, however, thought to be superior to treatment with intravenous suramin alone. Oral administration of suramin was relatively ineffective.

Specific recommendations for the treatment of onchocerciasis with intravenous suramin (Naphuride Sodium, Winthrop-Stearns) are given.