People who are infected with the worms but do not have any symptoms are given the drug diethylcarbamazine (DEC) once a year. This drug kills most, but not all, of the microscopic worms in the blood. Researchers from the World Health Organization have found that giving two drugs, albendazole with DEC or a different drug called ivermectin, is 99 percent effective in removing worms from the blood. The treatment is needed just once a year. Because lymphatic filariasis is transmitted from human to human by mosquitoes, treating the entire community can break the chain of transmission and reduce the incidence of the disease. People who have lymphedema are also given the anti-worm medication. In addition, careful hygiene helps them avoid the serious skin infections caused by lymphedema.
A Answers (2)
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI) answered
For effective control of the disease in a community, infected individuals must have the microfilariae completely removed (eradicated) from their blood. Until recently, a 12-day course of an antiparasitic drug called diethycarbamazine (DEC) was given to infected individuals. Following treatment, microfilariae are eradicated for a full year. Recent studies have shown that a single dose of DEC is equally effective for treatment.
The most effective treatment currently available is a single dose of two drugs administered at the same time. This two-drug treatment may include albendazole with either DEC or ivermectin and is 99% effective in removing microfilariae from the blood for one year.
Although these treatments remove the parasites and reduce swelling, additional measures to improve lymphatic fluid flow are used, such as elevating and massaging swollen limbs. Good hygiene of the affected limbs is necessary to further reduce swelling and prevent further infection with bacteria or fungi.
Current antiparisitic drug therapy is approaching 100% effectiveness. However, some drugs have unpleasant and sometimes serious side effects. Common side effects of albendazole, DEC, and ivermectin include chills, fever, and muscle pain (myalgia). The intensity of side effects is significantly higher with ivermectin than with DEC. Side effects usually are most severe 24 hours after taking the medicine. Serious side effects are rare and usually occur with prolonged usage. They include loss of vision, tunnel vision, and night blindness.
You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Copyright © 2012 by Natural Standard Research Collaboration. All Rights Reserved.