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Nifurtimox is a 5-nitrofuran and is used to treat diseases caused by trypanosome (Chagas disease and sleeping sickness). It is given by mouth and not by injection.


Nifurtimox has been used to treat Chagas disease, when it is given for 30 to 60 days, but gastrointestinal and neurological side effects have meant that benznidazole is now preferred for that indication.

Nifurtimox has also been used to treat African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), and is active in the second stage of the disease (CNS involvement). Unfortunately, when nifurtimox is given on its own, about half of all patients will relapse, but the combination of melarsoprol with nifurtimox appears to be efficacious. Trials are awaited comparing melarsoprol/nifurtimox against melarsoprol alone for African sleeping sickness.

Combination therapy with eflornithine and nifurtimox is safer and easier than treatment with eflornithine alone, and appears to be equally or more effective. It has been recommended as first-line treatment for second-stage African trypanosomiasis.


Nifurtimox is in a Phase II clinical trial for the treatment of pediatric neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma.


Nifurtimox is dosed as 15 mg/kg/day in two to three divided doses. It is given by mouth. Refer to the articles on Chagas disease and sleeping sickness for more detailed information on dosing for these diseases.

Manufacturing and availability

Nifurtimox is sold as Lampit by Bayer. It was previously known as Bayer 2502.

Nifurtimox is only licensed for use in Argentinamarker and Germanymarker, where it is sold as 120 mg tablets.


  1. . Retrieved on July 10, 2009.

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