Medications used to treat this disorder include:
Without treatment, death may occur within 6 months from cardiac failure or from T. rhodesiense infection itself. T. gambiense infection causes the classic "sleeping sickness" disease and gets worse more quickly, often over a few weeks. Both diseases should be treated immediately.
Complications include injury related to falling asleep while driving or performing other activities, and progressive damage to the nervous system. Sleep becomes uncontrollable as the disease gets worse, and eventually leads to coma.
Inflammation of the heart (myocarditis) may develop.
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of this disorder. It is important to begin treatment as soon as possible.
Kirchoff LV. Agents of African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness). In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolan R, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Orlando, FL: Saunders Elsevier;2009:chap 278.
Quinn TC. African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness). In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007: chap 367.
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