Suramin was given to ten outpatients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) presenting as Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) or as an AIDS-related complex (ARC). Side-effects associated with the administration of 6·2 g of suramin over 5 weeks included fevers, rashes, urinary abnormalities, and transient rises in hepatic aminotransferases. Peak serum levels of over 100μg/ml were attained. There was evidence of HTLV-III infectivity and replication in lymphocytes from four patients before therapy. The detectable virus level fell in each case by the time of the last dose, and in three cases it became undetectable at the end of therapy. In each case, viral replication was again detected in the weeks or months following the administration of suramin. Despite this in-vivo virustatic effect, no significant clinical or immunological improvement was observed using this short-term regimen. However, the results provide a rationale for investigating longer-term regimens.
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