THE EFFICACY AND SAFETY OF THREE 30-DAY COURSES OF ALBENDAZOLE IN PATIENTS WITH NEUROCYSTICERCOSIS


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Abstract

Albendazole is one of the drugs indicated for the treatment of neurocysticercosis. However, data on the treatment outcome of a long course of this drug is scarce. This study aims to investigate the efficacy and safety of three 30-day courses of albendazole in patients with neurocysticercosis. Methods: The diagnosis of neurocysticercosis was based on epidemiological, clinical and laboratory criteria as guided by the Vietnamese Ministry of Health. Sixty patients with a mean age of 50.17 ±10.03 years old, with 86.7% (95% CI: 77.8 – 95.5%) men, were involved in this study. Patients received three 30-day courses of albendazole with an intermittence of 20 days. Additional treatment included steroids, anticonvulsants or analgesics. Based on brain magnetic resonance imaging 6 months after the therapy, the efficacy was classified as cure (viable cysts not discernible), improvement (50% or more cysts disappeared or calcified) or inefficacy (changes in less than 50% of the cysts). The safety was determined based on the changes of biochemical parameters after each treatment course. Results: The most common clinical presentations were headache (90.0%, 95% CI: 82.2 – 97.8) and/or seizure (68.3%, 95% CI: 56.2 – 70.4), followed by other symptoms such as fainting, memory loss, and limb numbness. Active cysts were discovered in all cases and located mainly in the parenchymal region. After therapy, the rates of cure, improvement or inefficacy were 43.3% (95% CI: 30.4 – 56.2%), 51.7% (95% CI: 38.7 – 64.7%) and 5.0% (95% CI: 0 – 10.7%), respectively. Liver enzymes were slightly higher compared to those before therapy and mostly returned to normal ranges after drug interruption. Alanine aminotransferase levels before the 3rd course were higher than values before the first and second courses. No abnormalities in blood urea or creatinine after therapy were reported. Conclusions: Three 30-day cycles of albendazole appear to have good efficacy and tolerability in patients with neurocysticercosis.

About the authors

Sinha T. Cao

Vietnam Military Medical University, Ha Noi, Vietnam

Email: caotruongsinh@gmail.com

Assoc Prof., MD, PhD, Department of Parasitology

Viet Nam

Thang T. Tran

Nghe An Eye Hospital, Nghe An, Vietnam

Email: thangmatna@gmail.com

MD, PhD, Department of Medical examination

Viet Nam

Thangc D. Thai

Thai Thuong Hoang Hospital, Nghe An, Vietnam

Email: thangtd@tthgroup.vn

MD, Department of Internal medicine, Thai Thuong Hoang Hospital, Nghe An, Vietnam

Viet Nam

Loid B. Cao

National Institute of Malaria, Parasitology and Entomology

Email: phucloikhdt@gmail.com

Assoc Prof., MD, PhD, Scientific and Training Management Department

Viet Nam

Anhe T. Le

Vietnam Military Medical University, Ha Noi, Vietnam

Author for correspondence.
Email: anh_lt@vmmu.edu.vn
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4919-1739

Assoc Prof., MD, PhD, Department of Parasitology

Viet Nam

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Copyright (c) Cao S.T., Tran T.T., Thai T.D., Cao L.B., Le A.T.

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