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Abstract

The objective of this study was to compare the efficacy of a combination of allopurinol (AL) and low-dose meglumine antimoniate (MA) with standard-dose MA in cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania major.

An open, controlled study was performed. Seventy-two patients were randomly selected from volunteers with cutaneous leishmaniasis living in a hyperendemic area. Exclusion criteria included pregnancy, nursing vs. gestation, age less than 5 years, and duration of disease of more than 4 months. Each patient received MA (60 mg/kg/day) or AL (20 mg/kg/day) plus low-dose MA (30 mg/kg/day) for 20 days, and was followed up for 30 days after cessation of treatment.

The study was completed as planned in 66 patients. Complete healing occurred in 74.2% of patients in the MA group and in 80.6% of patients in the MA + AL group. No difference was found between the two groups with respect to side-effects.

The combination of AL and MA increases the anti-leishmanial effects of antimoniate. In this study, it was confirmed that low-dose MA plus AL is as effective as high-dose MA in the treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by L. major.