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Albendazole for lymphatic filariasis (Review)

Addiss, D., Critchley, J., Ejere, H., Garner, Paul ORCID:, Gelband, H. and Gamble, C. (2005) 'Albendazole for lymphatic filariasis (Review)'. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 4, CD003753.

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Mass treatment with albendazole, co-administered with another antifilarial drug, is being promoted as part of a global programme to eliminate lymphatic filariasis.
To assess the effects of albendazole on patients or populations with filarial infection, and on morbidity in patients with filarial infection; and to assess the frequency of adverse events for albendazole both given singly or in combination with another antifilarial drug (diethylcarbamazine or ivermectin).
Search strategy
We searched the Cochrane Infectious Disease Group’s trial register (September 2003), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (The Cochrane Library Issue 3, 2003), MEDLINE (September 2003), EMBASE (September 2003), LILACS (September 2003); and checked the reference lists and contacted experts, international organizations, and a pharmaceutical company.
Selection criteria
Randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials of albendazole singly or in combination with anti-filarial drugs in people or populations with lymphatic filariasis.
Data collection and analysis
Two reviewers assessed eligibility and trial methodological quality.We calculated relative risks (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) for binary outcomes, and where appropriate, combined them in a meta-analysis using the fixed effect model or random effects model.
Main results
Four small studies met the inclusion criteria (a total of 2473 children and adults, of whom 536 had detectable microfilariae). No effect of albendazole on microfilaraemia was demonstrated in two studies (placebo controlled, RR 0.97, 95% CI 0.87 to 1.09, n = 195). When compared to ivermectin, albendazole performed worse (RR 0.84, 95%CI 0.72 to 0.98, 2 studies of patients initially microfilariae positive, n = 198). When compared to diethylcarbamazine, no statistically significant difference was detected, but numbers were small (n = 56). Two studies compared albendazole plus ivermectin to ivermectin alone on the presence ofmicrofilaraemia. Results weremixed: one study showed the combination to be more effective (RR 0.27, 95% CI 0.11 to 0.70, n = 52), but the other did not demonstrate a statistically significant difference (RR 1.04, 95% CI 0.87 to 1.25, n = 145). A further study compared albendazole plus diethylcarbamazine to diethylcarbamazine alone and did not demonstrate a difference on microfilaraemia prevalence. No study examined the effects of the drugs on adult worms.
Authors’ conclusions
There is insufficient reliable research to confirm or refute whether albendazole alone, or co-administered with diethylcarbamazine or ivermectin, has an effect on lymphatic filariasis.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This review is published as a Cochrane Review in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2005, Issue 4. Cochrane Reviews are regularly updated as new evidence emerges and in response to comments and criticisms, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews should be consulted for the most recent version of the Review.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Albendazole, Diethylcarbamazine, Drug Therapy, Elephantiasis, Filarial, Filaricides, Ivermectin, Randomized Controlled Trials
Subjects: QV Pharmacology > Anti-Inflammatory Agents. Anti-Infective Agents. Antineoplastic Agents > QV 250 Anti-infective agents (General)
QV Pharmacology > QV 38 Drug action.
QX Parasitology > Helminths. Annelida > QX 301 Filarioidea
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 765 Prevention and control
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 880 Filariasis and related conditions (General)
Faculty: Department: Groups (2002 - 2012) > International Health Group
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
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Depositing User: Martin Chapman
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2011 16:47
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2019 10:14


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