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Malar J. 2009 Mar 30;8:52. doi: 10.1186/1475-2875-8-52.

Field-adapted sampling of whole blood to determine the levels of amodiaquine and its metabolite in children with uncomplicated malaria treated with amodiaquine plus artesunate combination.

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Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.



Artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) has been widely adopted as first-line treatment for uncomplicated falciparum malaria. In Uganda, amodiaquine plus artesunate (AQ+AS), is the alternative first-line regimen to Coartem(R) (artemether + lumefantrine) for the treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria. Currently, there are few field-adapted analytical techniques for monitoring amodiaquine utilization in patients. This study evaluates the field applicability of a new method to determine amodiaquine and its metabolite concentrations in whole blood dried on filter paper.


Twelve patients aged between 1.5 to 8 years with uncomplicated malaria received three standard oral doses of AQ+AS. Filter paper blood samples were collected before drug intake and at six different time points over 28 days period. A new field-adapted sampling procedure and liquid chromatographic method was used for quantitative determination of amodiaquine and its metabolite in whole blood.


The sampling procedure was successively applied in the field. Amodiaquine could be quantified for at least three days and the metabolite up to 28 days. All parasites in all the 12 patients cleared within the first three days of treatment and no adverse drug effects were observed.


The methodology is suitable for field studies. The possibility to determine the concentration of the active metabolite of amodiaquine up to 28 days suggested that the method is sensitive enough to monitor amodiaquine utilization in patients. Amodiaquine plus artesunate seems effective for treatment of falciparum malaria.

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