AIM: The aim of this trial was to evaluate the effects of albendazole (ALB) on cyst disappearance, reduction of number of cysts, and seizure recurrence.
METHODS: 178 patients with new onset symptoms due to active or transitional NC were randomly assigned to receive either 800 mg of ALB daily or placebo for 8 days. All patients also received prednisone. Imaging studies were done at baseline and months 1, 6, and 12 of follow-up. This trial is registered at Clinicaltrials.gov number NCT00283699.
RESULTS: Active cysts were identified in 59 of the 88 people randomized to ALB and 57 of the 90 in the placebo arm. By 1 month, 31% were free of active cysts in the treatment group compared to 7% in the placebo group (P=0.001). In addition, the ALB group had greater reduction in the number of active cysts compared to the placebo group (P=0.001). After one month following treatment there was no additional gain by treatment group in disappearance or reduction in the number of active cysts. ALB treatment had little effect on cysts in the transitional or calcification stage. We found no difference between the ALB and placebo group in symptoms during treatment or in seizure recurrence during the 12 months after treatment.
CONCLUSION: Albendazole plus symptomatic treatment leads to the disappearance of active cysts in 31% of the patients, compared to 7% of those with symptomatic treatment alone. This treatment effect occurs within the first 30 days after treatment.