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Is it OK to take loose medicines distributed for filaria eradication?

Q: I am staying in Mangalore, Karnataka. The district health officials have distributed tablets for filaria eradication. These tablets were distributed loose. We have no idea what medicine is it and what is the expiry date. Is it advisable to take these tablets blindly? Public health official are not aware of any details of the medicine. This area is prone to filaria. Are there any other medicines available for this?

A:For prevention of filariasis, normally diethylcarbamazine (DEC) is used. Its control is part of the government programme. Large quantities of DEC are bought and supplied to people in endemic areas. The paramedical staff is not always aware of the name of the medicine but they must tell the dose. Expiry is not a problem since it is three years from the date of manufacture. DEC is sold under the brand name of Banocide by GlaxoSmithKline and Hetrazan by Wyeth.

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