Cerebral toxoplasmosis is the most common opportunistic infection of the central nervous system in AIDS patients. Its rate varies between 3-40% according to the prevalence of toxoplasmosis in the different geographic areas. Conventional treatments used for this pathology are: sulphadiacin or clindamycin plus pyrimethamine, but all can occasionally produce severe side effects. Therefore, the search for new alternative therapies is recommended.
Two cases of encephalic toxoplasmosis in AIDS patients who developed severe toxicity to conventional treatment with pyrimethamine and sulphadiacin and later to clindamycin are described.
The first patient had a complete clinical and neuroradiological curation using clarithromycin 2 g/day and pyrimethamine 50 mg/day for 6 weeks. At 22 months follow up with a maintenance dose of 1 g/day of clarithromycin, the patient still remains asymptomatic. The second patient was successfully treated with atovaquone (750 mg/6 h) for 8 weeks and at 12 months of follow up with a maintenance dose of 750 mg/8 h remains asymptomatic.
The authors believe that clarithromycin and atovaquone may constitute valid alternatives for the treatment of cerebral toxoplasmosis. Nonetheless, their use may, at present, be recommended only as an alternative for the cases of therapeutic failure or severe intolerance when the usual schedules are used.