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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2007 Nov;60(5):1091-6. Epub 2007 Sep 19.

Pharmacokinetics of two paediatric artesunate mefloquine drug formulations in the treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria in Gabon.

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Medical Research Unit, Albert Schweitzer Hospital, Lambaréné, Gabon.



Paediatric drug formulations of artemisinin combination therapies and pharmacokinetic data supporting their use in African children are urgently needed for the effective treatment of young children suffering from falciparum malaria in sub-Saharan Africa.


In this study, the pharmacokinetic characteristics of a novel paediatric granule formulation of artesunate-mefloquine therapy were evaluated in comparison to the standard tablet formulation in the treatment of uncomplicated malaria in paediatric patients. Twenty-four patients were assigned to treatment according to body weight with either a fixed-dose paediatric granule co-formulation (10-20 kg body weight) or a free-dose co-blister tablet formulation of artesunate-mefloquine (>20-40 kg body weight).


Median values for C(max) (861 and 930 ng/mL), T(max) (1.5 and 1.5 h) and AUC(0-)(t) (2,050 and 2,470 ng.h/mL) were comparable for dihydroartemisinin in the two groups. Exploratory analysis of mefloquine plasma levels revealed a trend towards higher concentrations in the younger age group during the absorption phase (2,550 and 1,815 ng/mL, 54 h after initiation of treatment, respectively). Median mefloquine concentrations at day 28 were 197 and 343 ng/mL, respectively.


The pharmacokinetic characteristics of the two paediatric dosage forms, i.e. the novel fixed-dose co-formulation and the standard co-blister of artesunate-mefloquine show comparable results in the two treatment groups. The novel fixed-dose paediatric formulation is an interesting option for outpatient treatment of uncomplicated malaria in African children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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