Treatment

Most healthy people don't require toxoplasmosis treatment. But if you're otherwise healthy and have signs and symptoms of acute toxoplasmosis, your doctor may prescribe the following drugs:

  • Pyrimethamine (Daraprim). This medication, typically used for malaria, is a folic acid antagonist. It may prevent your body from absorbing the B vitamin folate (folic acid, vitamin B-9), especially when you take high doses over a long period. For that reason, your doctor may recommend taking additional folic acid.

    Other potential side effects of pyrimethamine include bone marrow suppression and liver toxicity.

  • Sulfadiazine. This antibiotic is used with pyrimethamine to treat toxoplasmosis.

Treating people with HIV/AIDS

If you have HIV/AIDS, the treatment of choice for toxoplasmosis is also pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine, with folinic acid (leucovorin). An alternative is pyrimethamine taken with clindamycin (Cleocin).

Treating pregnant women and babies

If you're pregnant and infected with toxoplasmosis, treatment may vary depending on where you receive medical care.

If infection occurred before the 16th week of pregnancy, you may receive the antibiotic spiramycin. Use of this drug may reduce your baby's risk of neurological problems from congenital toxoplasmosis. Spiramycin is routinely used to treat toxoplasmosis in Europe, but is still considered experimental in the United States.

If infection occurred after the 16th week of pregnancy, or if tests show that your unborn child has toxoplasmosis, you may be given pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine and folinic acid (leucovorin). Your doctor will help you determine the optimal treatment.

If your infant has toxoplasmosis or is likely to have it, treatment with pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine and folinic acid (leucovorin) is recommended. Your baby's doctor will need to monitor your baby while he or she is taking these medications.

July 15, 2017
References
  1. Parasites — Toxoplasmosis (toxoplasma infection). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/toxoplasmosis/. Accessed Jan. 31, 2017.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, et al. Diagnosis and management of foodborne illnesses: A primer for physicians and other health care professionals. MMWR. 2004;53:1. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5304a1.htm. Accessed Jan. 31, 2017.
  3. Guerina NG. Congenital toxoplasmosis: Clinical features and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 31, 2017.
  4. Guerina NG. Congenital toxoplasmosis: Treatment, outcome, and prevention. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 31, 2017.
  5. Gilbert R, et al. Toxoplasmosis and pregnancy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 31, 2017.
  6. Toxoplasmosis: Pregnant women. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/toxoplasmosis/gen_info/pregnant.html. Accessed Jan. 31, 2017.
  7. Toxoplasmosis: Immunocompromised persons. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/toxoplasmosis/ic.html. Accessed Jan. 31, 2017.