What is the treatment of Kala Azar?

Updated at: Jan 19, 2013
What is the treatment of Kala Azar?

Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment of Kala-azar are challenging due to several reasons.

Editorial Team
Communicable DiseasesWritten by: Editorial TeamPublished at: Oct 01, 2012

Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment of Kala-azar are challenging due to several reasons. Effective treatment is relatively costly and prolonged. Definitive diagnosis requires tissue specimens, which are often associated with complications and can be difficult to obtain.


Tissue that are sampled most often to diagnose kala-azar include bone marrow, spleen and, at times lymphnodes. The parasite is demonstrated in these tissue samples by microscopy or isolation of the parasite by culture.


There are limited treatment options for kala-azar. Besides this most of the drugs have far from satisfactory results.


Drugs commonly used in the treatment of kala-azar include;

  • Pentavalent antimonials compounds (Sbv)
  • Pentamidine,
  • Amphotericin B and Lipid formulation of amphotericin B,
  • Miltefosine,
  • Paromomycin,
  • Sitamaquine

Most of the drugs used for treatment of kala-azar have to be given parenterally (in the vein) except miltefosine, and are potentially toxic. Pentavalent antimonials compounds (Sbv) are the most commonly used drug worldwide. They have been used for more than sixty years and are considered as the mainstay for antileishmanial therapy. These drugs have been used effectively for kala-azar in Bihar for several years but currently the parasite has become resistant to it in these regions.


In the treatment of kala-azar it is very important to use the drugs judiciously as indiscriminate use of a drug can cause development of resistance among parasite /pathogens. Take the drug as prescribed by your doctor as discontinuation of treatment midway is dangerous for you as well as other people. If the parasites of kala-azar if not completely cleared from your body you it will again cause the disease in you, and it can be transmitted from you to other healthy people.




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