Departments of Infectious Diseases and Parasitology, Hua Shan Hospital, Shanghai Medical University, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Shanghai Medical University, Jiangxi Institute of Parasitic Diseases, Shanghai, People's Republic of China
A randomized double-blind study comparing the therapeutic efficacy of single dose of levo-praziquantel and mixed isomer praziquantel was carried out on 139 matched pairs of patients with schistosomiasis japonica. A single dose of either levo-praziquantel (20 mg/kg) or praziquantel (40 mg/kg) was given to each patient. Four and six months after treatment, the stool ova negative conversion rates were 94.85% and 96.27% for the levo-praziquantel group, and 97.06% and 94.03% for the praziquantel group, respectively; there was no statistically significant difference between the two treatments (P > 0.05). For lightly and moderately infected patients, a single 20 mg/kg dose of levo-praziquantel was as efficacious as 40 mg/kg of praziquantel. Moreover, levo-praziquantel produced fewer side effects than praziquantel. These results suggest that levo-praziquantel is the component of the mixed isomer preparation that is antihelminthic. Levo-praziquantel could be used therapeutically at half the current dose of the mixed isomer drug.