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 won't cure the disease. But, the drugs may be offered to people under 50 because they may help slow the progression of the disease and its most serious complications.
Additional treatment depends on the specific signs and symptoms:
Jun. 07, 2014
- 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.
- Rassi Jr A, et al. American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease). Infectious Disease Clinics of North America. 2012;26:275.
- Papadakis MA, ed., et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2014. 53rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=1. Accessed March 11, 2014.
- Ribeiro AL, et al. Diagnosis and management of Chagas disease and cardiomyopathy. Nature Reviews Cardiology. 2012;9:576.
- Chagas disease: Detailed FAQs. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/chagas/gen_info/detailed.html. Accessed March 12, 2014.
- Beryn C, et al. Trypanosoma cruzi and Chagas' Disease in the United States. Clinical Microbiology Review. 2011;24:655.
- Beryn C. Chagas disease: Management of acute disease, early chronic disease, and disease in immunocompromised hosts. http:www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 11, 2014.
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