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December 9, 1974

A New Anthelmintic

JAMA. 1974;230(10):1436. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240100054031

Among the intestinal parasitic infestations extant in this country, whipworm disease (trichuriasis) has been one especially difficult to manage. Treatment failures have been common with available drugs. Although dithiazanine iodide (Delvex) apparently was quite effective, it produced some unfortunate toxic effects and is no longer marketed.1

A notable advance in the treatment of whipworm infestations appears imminent. In this issue of The Journal (p 1408, p 1412), Miller et al and Wolfe and Wershing report quite gratifying results with a new drug, mebendazole, in two series of patients with the disease. High reductions in egg counts occurred, and while cures were not uniformly achieved, adequate dosage usually produced them. For inexplicable reasons, infestations that were not eradicated in the Miller series were usually light ones. In the Wolfe and Wershing series, however, from a different geographical area, the cure rate was lower with massive infestations.

Contrary to an earlier