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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2013 Feb;107(2):65-73. doi: 10.1093/trstmh/trs019. Epub 2012 Dec 4.

Efficacy and safety of dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine for treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in endemic countries: meta-analysis of randomised controlled studies.

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School of Postgraduate Studies and Research, International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur 57000, Malaysia.


The present review aimed to synthesise available evidence on the efficacy of dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP) in treating uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in people living in malaria-endemic countries by performing a meta-analysis of relevant studies. We searched relevant studies in electronic data bases up to December 2011. Published results from randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing efficacy of DP with other artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), or non-ACTs, or placebo were selected. The primary endpoint was 28-day and 42-day treatment failure. We identified 26 RCTs. Many of the studies included in the present review were of high quality. Overall, DP, artesunate-mefloquine (MAS3) and artemether-lumefentrine (AL) were equally effective for reducing the risk of recurrent parasitaemia. The PCR confirmed efficacy of DP (99.5%) and MAS3 (97.7%) at day 28 exceeded 90%; both are efficacious. Comparable efficacy was also found for DP (95.6%) and AL (94.3%). The present review has documented that DP is comparable to other currently used ACTs such as MAS3 and AL in treating uncomplicated falciparum malaria. The better safety profile of DP and once-daily dosage improves adherence and its fixed co-formulation ensures that both drugs are taken together. Our conclusion is that DP has the potential to become a first-line antimalarial drug.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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