(HealthDay News) – For patients with infections caused by free-living amebae (FLA), including primary amebic meningoencephalitis caused by Naegleria fowleri and granulomatous amebic encephalitis caused by Balamuthia mandrillaris and Acanthamoeba species, the investigational drug miltefosine is now available for treatment from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a report published in the Aug. 23 issue of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Noting that miltefosine has shown in vitro activity against FLA and has been administered for FLA infections as single-patient emergency use since 2009, Jennifer R. Cope, MD, MPH, from the CDC in Atlanta, discusses expanded access to miltefosine.
According to the report, as part of an investigational drug protocol, the CDC has expanded access to make miltefosine directly available for the treatment of FLA in the United States. The expanded access is partially supported by 26 case reports of FLA infection which included miltefosine in the treatment regimen. Miltefosine was generally well-tolerated, with the most commonly reported adverse effects being gastrointestinal symptoms.
“Clinicians who suspect they have a patient with FLA infection who could benefit from treatment with miltefosine should contact CDC to consult with an FLA expert,” the authors write.