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Indian J Med Res. 2002 Jan;115:17-21.

Deferiprone (L1) as an adjuvant therapy for Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

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  • 1Institute of Immunohaematology (ICMR), KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India.



Mortality due to Plasmodium falciparum infection remains high in India, hence any modality of treatment which can improve the outcome of this disease is worth exploring. The present study was undertaken to see whether addition of an oral iron chelator, deferiprone (L1) to the conventional treatment regime for P. falciparum infection improves the clinical course and final outcome.


In this prospective, randomised double blind trial, 45 consecutive patients with P. falciparum infection were randomised into two groups. Patients in Group I (control group, 21 patients) received standard quinine and doxycycline therapy along with supportive therapy and placebo capsules for 10 days. Patients in Group II (24 patients) received the same treatment as Group I but in place of placebo capsule received deferiprone capsules 75 mg/kg/day in 12 hourly divided doses. The parameters evaluated included the time taken in resolution of parasitaemia, fever and coma, differences in final outcome i.e., death or other severe complications, and side effects and deferiprone tolerance.


Four patients in Group I and two in Group II died (P > 0.05). The resolution of fever and coma was significantly faster in Group II (P < 0.05) and parasitaemia cleared 24 h earlier in this Group. The drug was well tolerated and had no side effects.


Deferiprone (L1) seems to be a promising agent as an adjuvant in the treatment for severe P. falciparum malaria infection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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