The co-administration of ivermectin and albendazole--safety, pharmacokinetics and efficacy against Onchocerca volvulus.
Author(s): Awadzi K, Edwards G, Duke BO, Opoku NO, Attah SK, Addy ET, Ardrey AE, Quartey BT
Affiliation(s): Onchocerciasis Chemotherapy Research Centre, Hohoe Hospital, P.O. Box 144, Hohoe, Ghana.
Publication date & source: 2003-03, Ann Trop Med Parasitol., 97(2):165-78.
Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted, to determine whether the co-administration of ivermectin with albendazole is safe and more effective against Onchocerca volvulus than ivermectin alone, and whether a significant pharmacokinetic interaction occurs. Forty-two male onchocerciasis patients received ivermectin (200 mug/kg) alone, albendazole (400 mg) alone or the combination. Safety was determined from the results of detailed clinical and laboratory examinations before treatment, during hospitalization and on day 30. Microfilaricidal efficacy was estimated from the reductions in skin counts between day 0 (pretreatment) and day 30. To determine efficacy against the adult worms, two independent observers examined histology slides prepared from nodules excised on day 180; changes in the skin counts of skin microfilariae between days 30 and 365 provided additional indicators of the level of adulticidal activity. Pharmacokinetic parameters for ivermectin and albendazole sulphoxide were defined over 72 h post-treatment. The co-administration of ivermectin with albendazole did not produce more severe adverse effects than ivermectin alone. Both nodule examiners found that the combination was not macrofilaricidal and that it was not clearly superior to ivermectin alone in the effects on reproductive activity; this was supported by the similar efficacy of the two regimens in the suppression of skin microfilariae. There was no significant pharmacokinetic interaction. Although the co-administration of ivermectin with albendazole appears safe, it offers no advantage over ivermectin alone in the control of onchocerciasis. The combination does not require an alteration in the dosage of either component.