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This drug has a direct amebicidal effect against trophozoites E. histolytica in tissues, and it is not active against cysts in either the lumen or intestinal walls, or in other organs. The mechanism of action of emetine consists of the blockage of protein synthesis in eukaryotic (but not in prokaryotic) cells. It inhibits the process of polypeptide chain formation. Protein synthesis is inhibited in parasite and mammalian cells, but not in bacteria.

Emetine is currently only used as a drug for treating amebiasis in cases of resistance to other drugs. Synonyms of this drug are ipecin and methylcefalin.

Chloroquine: Chloroquine (37.1.1.3), its synthesis, and its properties are described in Section 37.1 of this chapter.

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