Drugs for treating urinary schistosomiasis

Added April 10, 2013

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Praziquantel and metrifonate are effective treatments for urinary schistosomiasis and have few adverse events. Metrifonate requires multiple administrations and is therefore operationally less convenient in community-based control programmes. Evidence on the artemisinin derivatives is currently inconclusive, and further research is warranted on combination therapies.

Urinary schistosomiasis is caused by the blood fluke, Schistosoma haematobium, which is transmitted upon contact with contaminated water. The worms reside in blood vessels of the bladder and cause urinary schistosomiasis, which can lead to long-term ill-health. The disease is commonly found in African and eastern Mediterranean countries, especially in poor, rural areas. This review evaluates antischistosomal drugs, used alone or in combination, for treating urinary schistosomiasis.