A team of Nepalese doctors has developed a drug that is more effective in getting rid of typhoid fever, local media reported Friday.
The drug also costs less than the one recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), reported The Himalayan Times daily.Doctors at the Patan Hospital here tested the drug Gatifloxacin on 390 typhoid patients.
The team compared the effectiveness of "Cefixime", a WHO-recommended drug for typhoid, and Gatifloxacin, a broad-spectrum antibiotic. The result showed that Gatifloxacin was more effective and cost less than Cefixime.
Among the tested patients, fever clearance time was 102 hours for the Cefixime group and 72 hours for the Gatifloxacin group. The clinical failure was observed in 37.6 percent of the Cefixime group 3.5 percent of the Gatifloxacin group.
"The study revealed that Gatifloxacin is better than the established drug for typhoid," said Buddha Basnyat, who led the research team.
He said Gatifloxacin is suitable for developing countries like Nepal. "It is cheaper than Cefixime. While a full course of Cefixime costs about 10 dollars, full course of Gatifloxacin costs 1 dollar," Basnyat added.
The Nepal Health Research Council has approved the research. However, Bhupendra Bahadur Thapa, the director of the Department of Drug Administration, said: "More confirmation is needed on the drug's safety and side effects. We are waiting for verification from international researchers to register the drug".
Typhoid fever, also called enteric fever, is an illness caused by bacterium Salmonella typhi. It is transmitted by ingestion of food or water contaminated with faeces from infected person.
According to the report, 600,000 people die of typhoid across the world every year.