Pharmacokinetic Justification of Antiprotozoal Therapy
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Infections with parasitic protozoa have always been problems for the developing world and are becoming of greater importance to the developed world in this age of easy international travel. The major human protozoal diseases are summarised with an emphasis on their presentation in normal hosts and in immunocompromised individuals and current US drug treatment recommendations are discussed. Present antiprotozoal regimens are based either on a pharmacokinetic rationale or on clinical trial and error. Regimens based on trial and error include amphotericin B against leishmaniasis and arsenic against African trypanosomiasis. Regimens which are to some extent driven by pharmacokinetic or biochemical considerations include paromomycin and metronidazole against amoebiasis, sodium stibogluconate against leishmaniasis, halofantrine and mefloquine against malaria, dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) inhibitors against Pneumocystis carinii and toxoplasmosis and aerosolised pentamidine against P. carinii pneumonia. The majority of pharmacokinetic studies have been performed only on agents which have some therapeutic activity against other diseases of the developed world. Despite the trend toward rational treatment regimens, no studies have been performed that permit optimisation of antiprotozoal treatment regimens on the basis of clinical conditions such as renal failure.
KeywordsMalaria Mefloquine Visceral Leishmaniasis Leishmaniasis Toxoplasmosis
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