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Diloxanide furoate
Diloxanide furoate.svg
Clinical data
Trade namesFuramide
AHFS/Drugs.comMicromedex Detailed Consumer Information
  • No available data
Routes of
by mouth
ATC code
Legal status
Legal status
  • CA: Not approved
  • US: Not approved
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability90% (diloxanide)
MetabolismHydrolyzed to furoic acid and diloxanide, which undergoes extensive glucuronidation
Elimination half-life3 hours
ExcretionKidney (90%), fecal (10%)
CAS Number
PubChem CID
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)
ECHA InfoCard100.021.008 Edit this at Wikidata
Chemical and physical data
Molar mass328.147 g/mol g·mol−1
3D model (JSmol)
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Diloxanide is a medication used to treat amoeba infections.[1] In places where infections are not common, it is a second line treatment after paromomycin when a person has no symptoms.[2] For people who are symptomatic, it is used after treatment with metronidazole or tinidazole.[2] It is taken by mouth.[1]

Diloxanide generally has mild side effects.[3] Side effects may include flatulence, vomiting, and itchiness.[1] During pregnancy it is recommended that it be taken after the first trimester.[1] It is a luminal amebicide meaning that it only works on infections within the intestines.[2]

Diloxanide came into medical use in 1956.[3] It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system.[4] It is not commercially available in much of the developed world as of 2012.[5]

Medical uses[edit]

Diloxanide furoate works only in the digestive tract and is a lumenal amebicide.[2][6] It is considered second line treatment for infection with amoebas when no symptoms are present but the person is passing cysts, in places where infections are not common.[2][7] Paromomycin is considered the first line treatment for these cases.

For people who are symptomatic, it is used after treatment with ambecides that can penetrate tissue, like metronidazole or tinidazole. Diloxanide is considered second-line, while paromomycin is considered first line for this use as well.[2][8]

Adverse effects[edit]

Side effects include flatulence, itchiness, and hives. In general, the use of diloxanide is well tolerated with minimal toxicity. Although there is no clear risk of harm when used during pregnancy, diloxanide should be avoided in the first trimester if possible.[6]

Diloxanide furoate is not recommended in women who are breast feeding, and in children <2 years of age.[5]


Diloxanide furoate destroys trophozoites of E. histolytica and prevents amoebic cyst formation.[9] The exact mechanism of diloxanide is unknown.[10] Diloxanide is structurally related to chloramphenicol and may act in a similar fashion by blocking protein synthesis.[5]

The prodrug, diloxanide furoate, is metabolized in the gastrointestinal tract to release the active drug, diloxanide.[10]

90% of each dose is excreted in the urine and the other 10% is excreted in the feces.[10]

Society and culture[edit]

Diloxanide furoate is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, of the most important medication needed in a basic health system.[11]

The drug was discovered by Boots UK in 1956 and introduced as Furamide; it was not available in much of the developed world as of 2012.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d WHO Model Formulary 2008 (PDF). World Health Organization. 2009. pp. 179, 587. ISBN 9789241547659. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 December 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Farthing, Michael JG (August 2006). "Treatment options for the eradication of intestinal protozoa". Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology & Hepatology. 3 (8): 436–445. doi:10.1038/ncpgasthep0557. PMID 16883348. Archived from the original on 2015-06-21.
  3. ^ a b Hellgren, Urban; Ericsson, Orjan; AdenAbdi, Yakoub; Gustafsson, Lars L. (2003). Handbook of Drugs for Tropical Parasitic Infections. CRC Press. p. 57. ISBN 9780203211519. Archived from the original on 2016-12-20.
  4. ^ "WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (19th List)" (PDF). World Health Organization. April 2015. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 December 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d Griffin, Paul M (2012). "Chapter 181: Diloxanide furoate". In Grayson, M. Lindsay (ed.). Kucers' the use of antibiotics a clinical review of antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic and antiviral drugs (6th ed.). Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press. p. 2121. ISBN 9781444147520. Archived from the original on 2017-09-10.
  6. ^ a b "Protozoa: Amoebiasis and giardiasis: Diloxanide". WHO Model Prescribing Information: Drugs Used in Parasitic Diseases (2nd ed.). WHO. 1995. ISBN 92 4 140104 4. Archived from the original on 2016-09-12.
  7. ^ McAuley JB, Herwaldt BL, Stokes SL, et al. (1992). "Diloxanide furoate for treating asymptomatic Entamoeba histolytica cyst passers: 14 years' experience in the United States". Clin. Infect. Dis. 15 (3): 464–8. doi:10.1093/clind/15.3.464. PMID 1520794.
  8. ^ Arcangelo, Virginia Poole (2006). Pharmacotherapeutics For Advanced Practice: A Practical Approach. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. p. 441. ISBN 978-0-7817-5784-3.
  9. ^ Gupta, Y. K.; Gupta, Madhur; Aneja, S.; Kohli, K. (January 2004). "Current drug therapy of protozoal diarrhoea". The Indian Journal of Pediatrics. 71 (1): 55–58. doi:10.1007/BF02725657. PMID 14979387.
  10. ^ a b c "Diloxanide 500 mg Tablets - Summary of Product Characteristics". UK Electronic Medicines Compendium. March 31, 2015. Archived from the original on 11 November 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  11. ^ "WHO Model List of Essential Medicines" (PDF). World Health Organization. October 2013. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 April 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2014.