The typical toxoplasmosis treatment is a six-week course of an antimalarial medication and antibiotics, and different treatments merely involve different medications. Most people who have healthy immune systems do not know that they are infected with toxoplasmosis because the infection does not cause any symptoms of an illness. If a person does become ill with toxoplasmosis, he or she will develop flu-like symptoms. Pregnant women are at a greater risk of developing symptoms of toxoplasmosis and should be tested when an infection is suspected. Congenital toxoplasmosis can result in complications for the unborn baby, so the expectant mother usually will be started on an antibiotic regimen.
Which toxoplasmosis treatment will be prescribed depends on whether the infection is acute or latent. Both types require the use of antimalarials and antibiotics to destroy the pathogen that is responsible for causing the infection. Acute toxoplasmosis refers to a new infection and is usually treated with a combination of pyrmethamine and sulfadiazine. Pregnant women are treated with an antibiotic called spirmycin, and the use of this antibiotic helps prevent the infection from reaching the baby in utero. After the baby is born, tests can be performed to determine whether he or she has an active infection, and if the baby tests positive, a three-week cycle of pyrmethamine and sulfadiazine will begin.
The antimalarial pyrmethamine can build up to toxic levels in the blood when taken in large amounts over long periods of time, so most people are prescribed folinic acid to prevent toxicity of the blood from developing. The pyrmethamine can also block the absorption of folic acid and other B vitamins, so physicians will prescribe the same folinic acid that is taken to prevent toxicity in order to help replace the levels of folic acid in the body. Two rounds of these medications are often needed, with a two-week rest from the medications between treatment phases. The medication regimen for toxoplasmosis treatment is nearly universal for all patients and usually is effective at eliminating the infection.
Toxoplasmosis treatment might take as long as 12 weeks of medication. If the infection is resistant to the standard antimalarial and antibiotic medications, it becomes a latent infection, and further treatment is necessary. These medications are sometimes prescribed for immuno-suppressed patients as the first line of toxoplasmosis treatment. Atovaquone and clindamycin are two antibiotics that are used to kill the toxoplasmosis cysts when other antibiotics fail. Physicians are able to treat toxoplasmosis successfully most of the time without any lasting consequences, but some babies who are infected before birth might be born with mild complications resulting from the infection.