Essay on African Sleeping Sickness

The treatment of African Sleeping Sickness on the second stage involve several approaches. First, the treatment based on the medication that involves melasoprol. The patient receives intravenous melasoprol 2.2 mg/kg daily for 12 consecutive days (Pepin & Mpia, 439). However, melasoprol has a number of undesirable side effects. The most dangerous effect of using melasoprol in the treatment of the African Sleeping Sickness at the second stage of the disease is reactive encephalopacy or encephalopathic syndrome which can be fatal in 3 to 10% cases. However, some people can have the increased resistance to the drug and melasoprol can be used effectively. At any rate, an increased resistance to melasoprol has been observed in several foci particularly in central Africa. To decrease the risk of the development of encephalopathic syndrome, it is possible to change the dose of melasoprol in the course of the treatment, including 0.6 mg/kg on day 1 1.2 mg/kg IV melasoprol on day 2, and 1.2 mg/kg IV melasoprol combined with oral 7.5 mg/kg nifurtimox twice a day on days 3 to 10 (Priotto, et al., 59).

Alternatively, the patient may be treated by Eflornithine. The eflornithine treatment involves the medication with intravenous eflornithine 50 mg/kg every six hours for 14 days. However, the eflornithine treatment is only effective against T.b. gambiense. The regimen is strict and difficult to apply.

Another alternative in the treatment of the patient is the combination of nifurtimox and eflornithine which has been recently introduced (Priotto, et al., 61). Such combination allows simplifying use of eflornithine in monotherapy. However, this treatment is ineffective for T.b. rhodesiense. Nevertheless, such a combination treatment is relatively safe and effective compared to other methods of treatment of African Sleep Sickness.

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