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(trade name)


Therapeutic: temporary class
Pharmacologic: temporary class
Pregnancy Category: D


Treatment visceral leishmaniasis, cutaneous leishmaniasis and mucocal leishmanisis in adults and adolescents.


Interacts with lipids and sterols in the Leismania membrane resulting in inhibition of mitochondria and apoptotic cell death.

Therapeutic effects

Resolution of Leismania infections.


Absorption: Absorption is prolonged and may persist for 8–12 hr.
Distribution: Unknown.
Protein Binding: 98%.
Metabolism and Excretion: Slowly broken in the liver, releasing choline; remaining portion is further metabolized and enters fatty acid metabolism ; <0.2% excreted in urine.
Half-life: >6 days.

Time/action profile

POunknown4–7 hr (blood level)unknown†
† Persists in the body for up to 5 mos.


Contraindicated in: Hypersensitvity; Sjögren-Larsson-Syndrome (due to metabolic defect); Obstetric: Pregnancy (may cause fetal harm); Obstetric: Discontinue miltefosine or discontinue breastfeeding during treatment and for 5 mos following treatment.
Use Cautiously in: Renal impairment (BUN or Cr ≥1.5 x upper limit of normal); Hepatic impairment (ALT or AST ≥3 x upper limit of normal); Patients with reproductive potential..) Pediatric: Safe and effective use in children <12 yr has not been established.

Adverse Reactions/Side Effects

Central nervous system

  • dizziness (most frequent)
  • drowsiness
  • headache
  • weakness


  • abdominal pain (most frequent)
  • ↓ appetite (most frequent)
  • diarrhea (most frequent)
  • vomiting (most frequent)
  • abdominal distention
  • constipation
  • dysphagia
  • flatulence
  • ↑ liver enzymes
  • nausea


  • ↑ creatinine
  • testicular pain/swelling


  • pruritus
  • rash including Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (life-threatening)
  • urticaria

Fluid and Electrolyte

  • volume depletions (due to GI effects)


  • anemia
  • thrombocytopenia


  • fever
  • lymphadenopathy
  • lymphangitis
  • malaise


Drug-Drug interaction

May ↓ absorption and effectiveness of oral hormonal contraceptives..


Oral (Adults and adolescents ≥45 kg) 50 mg three times daily for 28 consecutive days.
Oral (Adults and adolescents 30–44 kg) 50 mg twice daily for 28 consecutive days.


Capsules: 50 mg

Nursing implications

Nursing assessment

  • Assess visible lesions periodically during therapy.
  • Monitor for vomiting and diarrhea. Encourage fluid intake to avoid dehydration.
  • Lab Test Considerations: Obtain a negative urine pregnancy test prior to beginning therapy.
    • Monitor renal function weekly and for 4 wks after completion of therapy. May ↑ serum creatinine.
    • Monitor AST, ALT, and serum bilirubin periodically during therapy. May cause ↑ in AST, ALT, and bilirubin.
    • Monitor platelet count periodically during therapy. May cause thrombocytopenia and agranulocytosis.

Potential Nursing Diagnoses

Impaired skin integrity (Indications)
Deficient knowledge, related to disease process and medication regimen (Patient/Family Teaching)


  • Administer with food to decrease GI side effects for 28 consecutive days. Swallow capsule whole; do not open, dissolve or chew.

Patient/Family Teaching

  • Instruct patient to take miltefosine as directed for 28 consecutive days. Advise patient to read the Medication Guide before beginning therapy and with each Rx refill in case of changes.
  • Advise patient to notify health care professional immediately if skin rash with blisters occurs. Discontinue therapy if exfoliative or bullous rash occurs.
  • May cause dizziness and drowsiness. Caution patient to avoid driving and other activities requiring alertness until response t medication is known.
  • Instruct patient to notify healthcare professional if abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea are persistent or severe. Advise to maintain hydration to prevent kidney damage.
  • Instruct patient to notify health care professional of all Rx or OTC medications, vitamins, or herbal products being taken and consult health care professional before taking any new medications.
  • Caution patient that miltefosine may cause teratogenic effects during pregnancy and may impair fertility. Advise female patient to use effective contraception during and for at least 5 mo after completion of therapy. Nausea and vomiting may decrease absorption of hormonal contraceptives. Advise patient to use a non-hormonal or alternative method of effective contraception. May cause scrotal pain and decreased or absent ejaculation in males. Advise females to avoid breastfeeding during and for at least 5 mo after completion of therapy.

Evaluation/Desired Outcomes

  • Resolution of signs and symptoms of leishmaniasis.
Drug Guide, © 2015 Farlex and Partners


An oral alkyl phosphocholine analogue used to treat cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis.

Adverse events
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, rigors, increased transaminases, grade-III hepatotoxicity and renal damage.

Miltefosine interferes with cell-signalling pathways and membrane synthesis of Leishmania donovani and L infantum, as well as with mitogenic signal transduction; it also induces apoptosis. It has been used in treating HIV disease because miltefosine inhibits the PI3K/Akt pathway, removing HIV-infected macrophages from circulation without affecting normal cells.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Aeterna Zentaris announced that it is reducing the size of its German workforce and operations to more closely reflect the company's ongoing commercial activities in Frankfurt.This restructuring will affect eight employees in Frankfurt, Germany and is expected to result in approximately $800,000 of severance costs that is expected to be paid by January 31, 2020.
He has also served as: chief executive officer and as a member of the board of directors of Regado Biosciences Inc, a NASDAQ-listed biopharmaceutical company; president, chief executive officer and a director of Eterna Zentaris Inc and president, chief executive officer and a director of Chugai Pharma USA LLC, a biopharmaceutical company which was the US subsidiary of Chugai Pharmaceutical Co Ltd of Japan.
The major players in the women's health market are -- Eaterna Zentaris Inc., Alder BioPharmaceuticals Inc., Aphios Corporation, Eli Lilly and Company, GTx, Inc., Helsinn Group, Merck & Co., Inc., Novartis AG, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, and XBiotech, Inc.
Ireland, US-based commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company Strongbridge Biopharma plc, (NASDAQ: SBBP) has acquired the US and Canadian rights to Macrilen (macimorelin) from South Carolina, US-based specialty biopharmaceutical company Aeterna Zentaris Inc.
Companies Mentioned in this Report: Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Dune Medical Devices Inc., Blaze Bioscience, Inc., Avelas Biosciences, Inc., Aeterna Zentaris Inc.
BANKING AND CREDIT NEWS-March 24, 2015-Aeterna Zentaris prices public offering of common shares and warrants
Global Banking News-May 24, 2013--Aeterna Zentaris: Posters to be Presented on Phase 1 and Phase 2 Trials with AEZS-108 in Prostate and Breast Cancer at Upcoming ASCO Meeting(C)2013 ENPublishing -
Travel Business Review-October 23, 2012--Aeterna Zentaris Regains Compliance with NASDAQ $1.00 Minimum Bid Price Rule(C)2012] ENPublishing -
A unique and important aspect about this shark cartilage study was that this product, Neovastat, was never sold over-the-counter, unlike other shark cartilage compounds previously studied.The company, Aeterna Zentaris, developed the compound as a pharmaceutical as opposed to a compound sold for profit that is available over the Internet, for example," said Lu, the study's national principal investigator and corresponding author.
After promising results were obtained with miltefosine in a patient with anergic diffuse cutaneous leishmaniasis (ADCL) in Venezuela (2), the patient received 150 mg/day oral miltefosine (Impavido, Zentaris, Germany) for 98 days and the lesional parasite load was quantified with quantitative nucleic acid sequence-based amplification (3).
Lepor disclosed he is a consultant to AEterna Zentaris Inc., the study sponsor.