Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Treatment for Chagas disease focuses on killing the parasite and managing signs and symptoms.

During the acute phase of Chagas disease, the prescription medications benznidazole and nifurtimox may be of benefit. Both drugs are available in the regions most affected by Chagas disease. In the United States, however, the drugs can be obtained only through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Once Chagas disease reaches the chronic phase, medications aren't effective for curing the disease. Instead, treatment depends on the specific signs and symptoms:

  • Heart-related complications. Treatment may include medications, a pacemaker or other devices to regulate your heart rhythm, surgery, or even a heart transplant.
  • Digestive-related complications. Treatment may include diet modification, medications, corticosteroids or, in severe cases, surgery.
Jun. 11, 2011