The effect of combination therapy with systemic meglumine antimoniate (glucantime) and pentoxifylline in the treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis

Background and aim: Cutaneous leishmaniasis is a common parasitic disease in Iran specially in Isfahan. The first line of treatment for this disease are antimonial compounds, however, because of the increasing unresponsiveness and significant side effects alternative therapeutic measures have been advocated. This study was performed to evaluate the efficacy of meglumine antimoniate (Glucantime) plus pentoxifylline in the treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis

Materials and Methods: This double blind randomized controlled clinical trial with simple sampling was perfonned on 64 patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis referred to Skin Diseases and Leishmaniasis Research Center. The patients were randomly divided in two groups. One group was treated with systemic Glucantime combined with pentoxifylline and the other group was treated with Glucantime plus placebo for 20 days and the patients were followed up for 3 months. The response to treatment was categorized into complete improvement (the lesions had been flattened, there was no induration and epidennal creases had been appeared), partial improvement (reduction in the size of the lesions, but without appearance of epidennal creases) and poor response (no reduction in the size of lesions)


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Results: Of 64 participants 32 patients in trial group and 31 patients in control group were  followed for 3 months. After this time complete improvement, partial improvement and poor response to treatment were 81.3% , 12.5% and 6.2% in trial group and 52% , 29% and 19% in control group; respectively(P=0.04). We also observed no adverse effects due to pentoxifylline

Conclusion: Combined therapy with Glucantime plus pentoxifylline was more effective than Glucantime alone

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