Efficacy and Toxicity of Pentostam against Panamanian Mucosal Leishmaniasis

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  • Gorgas Memorial Laboratory, Santos Hospital, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Panama City, Panama

We tested the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended treatment for mucosal leishmaniasis in 16 Panamanians with disease due to Leishmania braziliensis panamensis. Disease was mild in this population because it was limited to the nasal mucosa and only one patient had septal perforation. The patients were administered 20 mg antimony (in the form of Pentostam) per kg intravenously each day for 28 days. Ten patients completed therapy and were cured at 12 month follow-up. Three patients completed therapy, healed their lesions, but relapsed at the six or 12 month follow-up. Three patients terminated therapy prematurely because of liver enzyme elevations in conjunction with either EKG abnormalities or musculoskeletel complaints; none of these patients were healed. This study indicates that in patients with mild mucosal leishmaniasis, the WHO regimen is curative in 77% patients who complete treatment and in 63% of all patients.