Chloroquine in Amebiasis

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  • Department of Medicine of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, and the Presbyterian Hospital, New York, N. Y.

Introduction. In the treatment of intestinal amebiasis two classes of drugs, viz., iodohydroxyquinolines and arsenicals, are generally satisfactory from the standpoint of curative action and lack of toxicity. These agents are, however, essentially ineffective against extra-intestinal amebiasis, the commonest lesion of which is found in the liver as diffuse inflammation with or without abscess formation. For the treatment of these lesions emetine is highly effective, although it does not regularly exert curative activity upon intestinal infection. Emetine has the disadvantage of toxicity as manifested by occasional severe myocarditis and myositis as well as by minor but unpleasant toxic reactions including diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

Since it is not possible in most instances of intestinal amebiasis to determine with certainty whether subclinical involvement of the liver is present, it would, at least theoretically, be desirable to direct treatment toward the liver as well as the intestine.

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