Tapeworm Infections Rise in U.S.; Treatment Guidelines Issued
(HealthDay News) – Adults and children with intraparenchymal neurocysticercosis, a tapeworm infection causing seizures most commonly in developing countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, should be treated with albendazole plus either dexamethasone or prednisolone, according to guidelines published online April 8 in Neurology.
Ruth Ann Baird, MD, from Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, and colleagues reviewed and analyzed the medical and scientific literature for the efficacy of treatments for intraparenchymal neurocysticercosis, which results from infection with the larvae of Taenia solium. Ten class I or II trials of cysticidal drugs, administered with or without corticosteroids, were identified.
The researchers found that the evidence suggested that treatment with albendazole with or without corticosteroids was well-tolerated in adults and children and was likely effective in reducing long-term seizure frequency and the number of cysts. They were unable to assess the efficacy of praziquantel due to insufficient information.
"Albendazole plus either dexamethasone or prednisolone should be considered for adults and children with neurocysticercosis, both to decrease the number of active lesions on brain imaging studies (Level B) and to reduce long-term seizure frequency (Level B)," Baird and colleagues conclude.
One author reported receiving honoraria from UCB Pharma, one author reported testifying in legal proceedings for medical malpractice and Lyme disease, and another reported being on the speakers bureau for Boehringer Ingelheim.