Diethylcarbamazine citrate (DEC) (N, N-diethyl-4-methyl-1-piperazine carboxamide dihydrogen citrate) is a synthetic derivative of piperazine, an older class of anthelmintic drug, effective against control of a number of endoparasites.
It is used extensively in poorer countries to combat human onchocerciasis, and until the relatively recent introduction of ivermectin-based drugs, was the principal preventative drug used for control and prevention of cardiopulmonary filariids of dogs.
Specifically synthesized against filarial nematodes, DEC is effective against:
Side-effects may be lethal in heartworm disease patients where microfilaremia is present, resulting in an anaphylactic reaction initiated by intrahepatic venoconstriction, the severity of the vascular reaction usually directly related to the number of microfilariae in the liver.
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- Boreham PF et al (1985) Studies on the mechanism of the DEC reaction in dogs infected with Dirofilaria immitis. Int J Parasitol 15(5):543-549
- Hamilton RG et al (1986) Dirofilaria immitis: diethylcarbamazine-induced anaphylactoid reactions in infected dogs. Exp Parasitol 61(3):405-420
- Sutton RH et al (1985) Liver changes, following diethylcarbamazine administration, in microfilaremic dogs infected with Dirofilaria immitis. Vet Pathol 22(2):177-183