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Praziquantel in the Treatment of Cysticercosis

Jay A. Levin, MD; J. Graham Smith Jr, MD
JAMA. 1986;256(3):349. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380030051019.
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To the Editor.—  The recent article on cysticercosis in Los Angeles County documents 497 patients followed up over an 11-year period and underscores the need for heightened physician awareness of this seemingly rare disease.1 While the authors note that anticonvulsant therapy may be used to control neurocysticercosis and mention the role of surgical shunting in control of hydrocephalus, they fail to alert readers about the promising new anthelminthic agent praziquantel.Praziquantel is a synthetic pyrazineisoquinoline derivative recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration as the only drug effective for all forms of trematode infections, namely, schistosomiasis.2 The drug has been tried in cestode infections as well, and, as referenced in their article, praziquantel therapy for cysticercosis has documented efficacy. The earliest reports were quite promising; praziquantel in doses as low as 10 mg per kilogram of body weight cured 33 of 33 patients with Taenia solium, the


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