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Lancet. 2007 Feb 10;369(9560):491-8.

Artemether-lumefantrine versus amodiaquine plus sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine for uncomplicated falciparum malaria in Burkina Faso: a randomised non-inferiority trial.

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Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Santé, Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso.

Erratum in

  • Lancet. 2007 Mar 10;369(9564):826.



Artemisinin-based combination regimens are widely advocated for malarial treatment, but other effective regimens might be cheaper and more readily available. Our aim was to compare the risk of recurrent parasitaemia in patients given artemether-lumefantrine with that in those given amodiaquine plus sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine for uncomplicated malaria.


We enrolled 521 patients aged 6 months or older with uncomplicated falciparum malaria in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. Patients were randomly assigned to receive standard doses of either artemether-lumefantrine (261) or amodiaquine plus sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (260) for 3 days. Primary endpoints were the risks of treatment failure within 28 days, either unadjusted or adjusted by genotyping to distinguish recrudescence from new infection. The study is registered at with the identifier ISRCTN54261005.


Of enrolled patients, 478 (92%) completed the 28-day study. The risk of recurrent symptomatic malaria was lowest in the group given amodiaquine plus sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (1.7%vs 10.2%; risk difference 8.5%; 95% CI 4.3-12.6; p=0.0001); as was the risk of recurrent parasitaemia (4.7%vs 15.1%; 10.4%; 5.1-15.6; p=0.0002). Nearly all recurrences were due to new infections. Recrudescences were four late treatment failures with artemether-lumefantrine and one early treatment failure with amodiaquine plus sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine. Both regimens were safe and well tolerated, with pruritus more common with amodiaquine plus sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine than with artemether-lumefantrine. Each regimen selected for new isolates with mutations that have been associated with decreased drug susceptibility.


Amodiaquine plus sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine was more effective than was artemether-lumefantrine for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria. For regions of Africa where amodiaquine plus sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine continues to be effective, this less expensive and more available regimen should be considered as an alternative to blanket recommendations for artemisinin-based combination treatment for malaria.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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