In this "Critical Review" we made a historical introduction of drugs assayed against Chagas disease beginning in 1912 with the works of Mayer and Rocha Lima up to the experimental use of nitrofurazone. In the beginning of the 70s, nifurtimox and benznidazole were introduced for clinical treatment, but results showed a great variability and there is still a controversy about their use for chronic cases. After the introduction of these nitroheterocycles only a few compounds were assayed in chagasic patients. The great advances in vector control in the South Cone countries, and the demonstration of parasite in chronic patients indicated the urgency to discuss the etiologic treatment during this phase, reinforcing the need to find drugs with more efficacy and less toxicity. We also review potential targets in the parasite and present a survey about new classes of synthetic and natural compounds studied after 1992/1993, with which we intend to give to the reader a general view about experimental studies in the area of the chemotherapy of Chagas disease, complementing the previous papers of Brener (1979) and De Castro (1993).