Treatment of paediatric visceral leishmaniasis: amphotericin B or pentavalent antimony compounds?

Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2005 Jan;25(1):26-30. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2004.09.011.


Pentavalent antimony compounds and amphotericin B lipid formulations have been found highly active for the treatment of visceral leishmaniasis. This study focuses on which treatment is preferable in the best interests of the child. Records were reviewed of children in our hospital aged 0-14 years, diagnosed with visceral leishmaniasis, during the last 4 years. Twenty-nine children were identified. Ten were treated with meglumine antimonate (20 mg/kg/day for 21 days) and remained in hospital for 11-28 days (median 19 days), while 19 patients received liposomal amphotericin B at four different dosage schemes and were in hospital for 6-11 days (median 7 days). All of the patients were cured regardless of the treatment regime they followed. No relapses were noted. Liposomal amphotericin B would be preferable to meglumine antimonate if the reduction in hospital stay and hence the convenience of the patient balance the cost of medication. The optimal duration of treatment with liposomal amphotericin B remains to be determined.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Amphotericin B / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Antimony
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Greece
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Leishmania infantum / drug effects
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / drug therapy*
  • Liposomes
  • Male
  • Meglumine / therapeutic use*
  • Meglumine Antimoniate
  • Organometallic Compounds / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antiprotozoal Agents
  • Liposomes
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • liposomal amphotericin B
  • Meglumine
  • Meglumine Antimoniate
  • Amphotericin B
  • Antimony