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Diethylcarbamazine Citrate (DEC) (N, N-diethyl-4-methyl-1-piperazine carboxamide dihydrogen citrate) is a synthetic derivative of piperazine, used as an anthelmintic drug used in the treatment of filariasis in humans, dogs and cats. Discovery was attributed to Yellapragada Subbarow.
It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, a list of the most important medication needed in a basic health system.
DEC is indicated for treatment of individual patients with certain filarial diseases. These diseases include: lymphatic filariasis caused by infection with Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi, or Brugia timori; tropical pulmonary eosinophilia, and loiasis.
In cases of onchocerciasis, another common filarial parasite, the drug is not used. This is because of the intense and unbearable itching associated with the dead subcutaneous parasites.
DEC continues to be the mainstay for treatment of patients with lymphatic filariasis and loiasis. DEC is also used in the prevention of dog heartworm Dirofilaria immitis.
Now WHO prescribes DEC to patients who are susceptible to filariasis by preventive regimen in endemic areas.
Contraindications are Previous history of heart problems, Gastrointestinal problems, allergic patients
DEC is an inhibitor of arachidonic acid metabolism in filarial microfilaria. This makes the microfilaria more susceptible to immune attack. However, DEC is not directly toxic to the filarial microfilaria.
- Banocide Forte
- "WHO Model List of EssentialMedicines" (PDF). World Health Organization. October 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
- El-Shahawi, G. A.; Abdel-Latif, M; Saad, A. H.; Bahgat, M (2010). "Setaria equina: In vivo effect of diethylcarbamazine citrate on microfilariae in albino rats". Experimental Parasitology 126 (4): 603–10. PMID 20599991. doi:10.1016/j.exppara.2010.06.022.