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Antifungals 

Antifungals
Chapter:
Antifungals
DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198729228.003.0002
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date: 26 June 2019

Antiparasitic agents are medications prescribed for the treatment of parasitic diseases caused by single-celled protozoa (e.g. malaria) and multicellular helminths, notably gastrointestinal nematodes. This chapter will focus exclusively on anthelmintic agents, of which there a fewer examples but useful broad-spectrum agents. Children are particularly susceptible to parasitic infections, notably gastrointestinal infections caused by parasites, yet treatment recommendations are often empirical or merely extrapolated from observations in adults. Moreover, severe and recurrent infections may have a detrimental effect on growth. For young children with intestinal worms, the health benefits of treating geohelminths include reduced likelihood of growth stunting and much improved nutritional and cognitive outcomes. There are three broad-spectrum drugs in routine usage, i.e. albendazole (a benzimidazole), ivermectin (a macrocyclic lactone and one of the avermectins), and praziquantel (a pyrazinoisoquinolone). However, other agents remain available on demand for particular indications. This chapter reviews the pharmacology of available anthelmintic agents and advises on the dosages of such drugs to be used in treating helminthic diseases of children.

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