RICHARD D. PEARSON, MD.; ERIK L. HEWLETT, M.D.
The widespread emergence of chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum led to the formulation of an effective, fixed combination of two antimalarial agents, pyrimethamine and the long-acting sulfonamide sulfadoxine, for prophylaxis and treatment. These drugs act at sequential steps to inhibit the formation of tetrahydrofolate in the parasite. Recently, their use for malaria prophylaxis has been associated with severe, at times fatal, cutaneous reactions including erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and toxic epidermal necrolysis. These reactions have necessitated a major reassessment of the indications for pyrimethamine-sulfadoxine use and increased the search for pharmacologic, immunologic and behavioral approaches to the prophylaxis and treatment of infection with P. falciparum. Pyrimethamine-sulfadoxine may be effective in preventing recurrent pneumonia caused by Pneumocystis carinii in patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, but life-threatening cutaneous reactions have also been reported in this setting.
PEARSON RD, HEWLETT EL. Use of Pyrimethamine-Sulfadoxine (Fansidar) in Prophylaxis Against Chloroquine-Resistant Plasmodium falciparum and Pneumocystis carinii. Ann Intern Med. ;106:714–718. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-106-5-714
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1987;106(5):714-718.
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