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Bull Soc Pathol Exot. 1998;91(5 Pt 1-2):493-6.

[The proper use of antimalarial drugs currently available].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Service des maladies infectieuses et tropicales, Hôpital Houphouët-Boigny, Marseille.


French medical practitioners have at their disposal several antimalarial drugs for giving chemoprophylaxis to people travelling to a malaria endemic country or treating an imported malaria case in a patient. The choice depends on the contre-indications and indications of each drug, essentially subordinated to the presence and level of Plasmodium falciparum chemosensitivity in the visited area. For prevention, chloroquine alone can be taken in the areas where P. falciparum is absent or not chloroquine resistant; elsewhere, the choice between chloroquine/proguanil or mefloquine depends on knowing the prevalence and level of falciparum chloroquine resistance in these areas. For treatment, the only indications of chloroquine are imported malaria cases either due to P. vivax, P. ovale or P. malariae, or caused by P. falciparum contracted in one of the rare countries where the species is still sensitive to chloroquine. For uncomplicated falciparum malaria cases acquired in a chemoresistance area, mefloquine, halofantrine, sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine or oral quinine is selected, depending on the observed chemoprophylaxis, the contra-indications and the suspicion of chemoresistance type. Whatever the provenance area, P. falciparum in a patient with one or several serious symptoms or possibly profuse vomiting is treated by intravenous quinine, associated with tetracycline if the patient comes from an area known for a low quinine sensitivity of this species. The spectrum of falciparum malaria treatment has recently broadened to include new drugs such as artemisinin, artemether or atovaquone/proguanil, the latter being as yet unauthorized in France.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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