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Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Print version ISSN 0042-9686

Abstract

MOORE, Elinore et al. Comparison of generic and proprietary sodium stibogluconate for the treatment of visceral leishmaniasis in Kenya. Bull World Health Organ [online]. 2001, vol.79, n.5, pp. 388-393. ISSN 0042-9686.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0042-96862001000500004.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the use of generic and proprietary sodium stibogluconate for the treatment of visceral leishmaniasis (kala-azar). METHODS: A total of 102 patients with confirmed kala-azar were treated in a mission hospital in West Pokot region, Kenya, with sodium stibogluconate (20 mg/kg/day for 30 days) - either as Pentostam® (PSM) or generic sodium stibogluconate (SSG); 51 patients were allocated alternately to each treatment group. FINDINGS: There were no significant differences in baseline demographic characteristics or disease severity, or in events during treatment. There were 3 deaths in the PSM group and 1 in the SSG group; 2 patients defaulted in each group. Only 1 out of 80 test-of-cure splenic aspirates was positive for Leishmania spp.; this patient was in the SSG group. Follow-up after > 6 months showed that 6 out of 58 patients had relapsed, 5 in the SSG group and 1 in the PSM group. No outcome variable was significantly different between the two groups. CONCLUSION: The availability of cheaper generic sodium stibogluconate, subject to rigid quality controls, now makes it possible for the health authorities in kala-azar endemic areas to provide treatment to many more patients in Africa.

Keywords : Leishmaniasis, Visceral [drug therapy]; Antimony sodium gluconate [therapeutic use]; Drugs, Generic [therapeutic use]; Drug evaluation; Comparative study; Kenya.

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