Ditiocarb Sodium (Diethyldithiocarbamate) Therapy in Patients With Symptomatic HIV Infection and AIDS: A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-Controlled, Multicenter Study

Evan M. Hersh, Gary Brewton, Donald Abrams, John Bartlett, Jeffrey Galpin, Parkash Gill, Robert Gorter, Michael Gottlieb, John J. Jonikas, Sheldon Landesman, Alexandra Levine, Adrien Marcel, Eskild A. Petersen, Mark Whiteside, John Zahradnik, Carol Negron, Florent Boutitie, Jean Caraux, Jean Marie Dupuy, L. Rachid Salmi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations

Abstract

We randomized 389 symptomatic patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection to ditiocarb sodium (400 mg/m2 orally for 24 weeks) or a placebo. Patients were well balanced according to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) group, CD4+ cell number, and duration of disease prior to entry. Ten new acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)—defining opportunistic infections occurred in the treated patients and 21 in the controls. Reduction of new opportunistic infections in the ditiocarb group was significant in all patients (relative risk [RR], 0.44) and in patients with AIDS (CDC groups IV-C1 and IV-D) (RR, 0.12). The size of the effect of ditiocarb was maintained when data were reanalyzed after exclusion of a patient who progressed to Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia who was not strictly CDC-defined (RR, 0.46), or when considering as new opportunistic infections three events, which were clinically active at entry, but for which the definitive diagnosis was made during study (RR, 0.49). The administration of ditiocarb did not induce any major adverse clinical or biological reactions. We conclude that, in this study, ditiocarb was safe and reduced the incidence of opportunistic infections in patients with symptomatic HIV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1538-1544
Number of pages7
JournalJAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association
Volume265
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 27 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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