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Lymphatic filariasis; bancroftian filariasis; brugian filariasis; onchocerciasis; African river blindness; blinding filariasis; Robles' disease; loiasis; Loa loa


Disease group caused by nematode parasites of the order Filariidae, commonly called filariae


Lymphatic filariasis caused by Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi, and Brugia timori; cutaneous filariasis caused by Loa loa, Onchocerca volvulus, and Mansonella streptocerca; Microfilariae in insect host inoculated into vertebral host during feeding and completing their life cycle there

Clinical manifestation

Lymphatic filariasis - acute episode (ade-nolymphangitis): fever; inguinal or axillary lymphadenopathy; testicular and/or

Finger infection 239

Finasteride. Dermatologic indications and dosage


Adult dosage

Child dosage


1 mg PO daily

Not indicated

alopecia in men

inguinal pain; limb or genital swelling; skin exfoliation of the affected body part usually occurring with resolution of an episode; recurrent episodes of inflammation and lymphedema leading to lymphatic damage with chronic swelling and elephantiasis of the legs, arms, scrotum, vulva, and breasts

Onchocerciasis: skin nodules over bony prominences (i.e., onchocercomas); other skin lesions including edema, pruritus, erythema, papules, altered pigmentation, and lichenification

Loiasis: large transient area of localized nonerythematous subcutaneous edema (Calabar swelling), most common around joints

Differential diagnosis

Scrotal or testicular trauma; lymphoma; lymphogranuloma venereum; Milroy disease; bacterial or fungal lymphadenitis; leprosy; non-filarial elephantiasis; hydrocele


Lymphatic filariasis: diethylcarbamazine 6 mg per kg PO per day for 12-21 days* Oncocerciasis: ivermectin* Loiasis: diethylcarbamazine 6 mg per kg PO per day for 12-21 days*; albendazole


Taylor MJ, Hoerauf A (2001) A new approach to the treatment of filariasis. Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases 14(6):727-731

Generic available

Drug class

Type II 5 a-reductase inhibitor Mechanism of action

Inhibition of 5-a reductase causes reduced conversion of testosterone to dihydrotesto-sterone in hair follicles

Dosage form

1 mg tablet

Dermatologic indications and dosage

See table

Common side effects

Genitourinary: decreased libido, impotence, decreased ejaculate volume

Serious side effects


Drug interactions



Hypersensitivity to drug class or component


Messenger AG (2000) Medical management of male pattern hair loss. International Journal of Dermatology 39(8):585-586


Trade name(s)


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