The Ministry of Public Health is reassuring citizens that the tablets being distributed for filarial prevention are safe and it is confident that all of the drugs being administered as part of the nationwide campaign are safe.
The statement comes in wake of the death of a young child whose relatives claim that she became ill 2 days after taking the medication. The relatives suspect that the tablets may have had something to do with the child’s illness and death.
But the Ministry of Public Health in a press statement said a post mortem examination revealed no links between the filarial medication and the child’s death.
In its statement, the Ministry extended sympathy to the child’s family, but reminded that the campaign against filarial has been ongoing since 2008 and over 270,000 persons in Guyana have taken the medication.
According to the Ministry, outside of some cases of side effects, there have been no serious illness or death linked to the medication.
The Health Ministry noted that some persons may suffer from side effects but those side effects would not be experienced for more than 24hrs after taking the medication.
The Ministry has is encouraging persons who experience prolonged side effects which are similar to many other medications, to consult a doctor.
On the Jumpstart radio show this morning, Dr. Fubu Moses of the Vector Control Unit said at least 90% of the country may be exposed to filaria and the mosquitos that carry the disease that could lead to big foot and other swollen limbs and goadie.
She explained that the ongoing campaign is to ensure that Guyana becomes filaria free. According to Dr. Moses, persons who may experience diarrhea or vomiting after taking the medication, should allow those side effects to run their course and not take any other medication to stop them. She said the side effects would usually run for about two hours. Pregnant women and children below the age of two, should not take the filaria medication.
Adverse Effects and Precautions
|Albendazole 200mg; 400mg||Diethylcarbamazine 50mg; 100mg|
|Pharmacology||Max. plasma concentration within 2-5 hrs; half life of 8-12 hours||Max. plasma concentration 1-2 hrs.; half life of 10-12 hours|
|Indications||Kills intestinal worms and adult filarial worms||Kills microfilariae; minimal effect on adult filarial worms|
|Adverse Effects||Gastrointestinal disturbances; abdominal pain, diarrhoea, headaches, dizziness||Nausea, vomiting, headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, weakness, anorexia, fever, rash/allergic reaction|
|Precautions||Should not be given to children under 1 year and women in their first trimester of pregnancy||Should not be given to children under 2 years, nor pregnant women|