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A comparative clinical trial of combinations of dihydroartemisinin plus azithromycin and dihydroartemisinin plus mefloquine for treatment of multidrug resistant falciparum malaria.

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  • 1Department of Tropical Hygiene, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.


With the deteriorating situation of multidrug resistant falciparum malaria, a new drug or drugs in combinations are urgently needed. We conducted a study comparing a combination of dihydroartemisinin 240 mg and mefloquine 1,250 mg given over 3 days (Group 1) and a combination of dihydroartemisinin 240 mg and azithromycin 1,500 mg given over 3 days (Group 2), to determine safety, efficacy and tolerability. All of the patients stayed in a non-malaria endemic area during the study. By the third day after drug administration, most patients were free of parasites and none had serious adverse events. The cure rates at day 28 were 100% and 69.7% in Group 1 and Group 2, respectively (p<0.01). We conclude that a combination of dihydroartemisnin and azithromycin was safe and effective and may be another interesting regimen of the treatment of uncomplicated multidrug resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Thailand.

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