Comparison of generic and proprietary sodium stibogluconate for the treatment of visceral leishmaniasis in Kenya.Bull World Health Organ. 2001; 79(5):388-93.BW
To compare the use of generic and proprietary sodium stibogluconate for the treatment of visceral leishmaniasis (kala-azar).
A total of 102 patients with confirmed kala-azar were treated in a mission hospital in West Pokot region, Kenya, with sodium stibogluconate (20 mg/kg/day for 30 days)--either as Pentostam (PSM) or generic sodium stibogluconate (SSG); 51 patients were allocated alternately to each treatment group.
There were no significant differences in baseline demographic characteristics or disease severity, or in events during treatment. There were 3 deaths in the PSM group and 1 in the SSG group; 2 patients defaulted in each group. Only 1 out of 80 test-of-cure splenic aspirates was positive for Leishmania spp.; this patient was in the SSG group. Follow-up after > or = 6 months showed that 6 out of 58 patients had relapsed, 5 in the SSG group and 1 in the PSM group. No outcome variable was significantly different between the two groups.
The availability of cheaper generic sodium stibogluconate, subject to rigid quality controls, now makes it possible for the health authorities in kala-azar endemic areas to provide treatment to many more patients in Africa.