[Miltefosine: a new remedy for leishmaniasis]


There is a need for a safe and effective oral treatment for cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis. Miltefosine is the first oral drug that is efficacious against different forms ofleishmaniasis, however it is not equally effective against all Leishmania species. Miltefosine is an alkylphosphocholine, originally developed for the treatment of cancer. The mechanism of action is probably based on interference with the synthesis and degradation of parasitic membrane lipids. Little is known about the pharmacokinetics ofmiltefosine; an important characteristic is its long elimination half-life of seven days or longer. The most frequent adverse effects are of gastrointestinal origin. Miltefosine should not be used during pregnancy. Over thirty leishmaniasis patients have already been treated with miltefosine in the Netherlands.

Nederlands Tijdschrift Voor Geneeskunde