|Fact sheet No 115: Schistosomiasis - May 1996 (WHO, 1996, 2 p.)|
Three safe, effective drugs -- praziquantel, oxamniquine and metrifonate -- are now available for schistosomiasis and are included in the WHO Model List of Essential Drugs.
Praziquantel is effective against all forms of schistosomiasis with few, and only transient, side effects. Cost has decreased to under US 25 cents for adults and even less for children. Oxamniquine is used exclusively in Africa and South America to treat intestinal schistosomiasis. Metrifonate has proved to be safe and effective for the treatment of urinary schistosomiasis. Even though re-infection may occur after treatment, the risk of developing severely diseased organs is diminished and even reversed in young children. In most areas, a reduction in the overall number of cases is maintained for 18-24 months and in other areas for up to five years without further intervention.