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Wednesday 01 January 2003

Treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis with ketoconazole cream.

By: Momeni AZ, Aminjavaheri M, Omidghaemi MR.

J Dermatolog Treat 2003 Jan;14(1):26-9

BACKGROUND: Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is endemic in many countries. It has been recognized as a major public health problem in Iran. Many drugs have been suggested for the treatment of CL but most of them used intramuscularly or intravenously. Recently, a ketoconazole tablet has been used for the treatment of CL. OBJECTIVE: To compare the efficacy of ketoconazole cream with placebo in the treatment of CL. METHODS: The study was a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Patients with proven CL were treated with ketoconazole cream or placebo cream. The duration of treatment was 21 days and the patients were visited on days 7, 14 and 21. Follow-up was for 1 month after the end of treatment. RESULTS: The study was completed in 73 patients (45 male, 28 female). The mean age of the patients was 19.9 years. A total of 38 patients received ketoconazole and 35 patients were treated with the placebo cream. At the end of treatment (day 21), complete healing had occurred in 15.7% of the ketoconazole group in comparison with 14.3% of the patients who were treated with the placebo cream (p=0.86). One month after the end of treatment the lesions in 28.9% of the ketoconazole group and 22.8% of the placebo group were healed (p=0.55). CONCLUSION: Although the ketoconazole tablet has been reported to be effective in the treatment of some cases of CL, the low response rate in patients receiving ketoconazole cream indicates that it cannot be used as the single agent in the treatment of CL patients.

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