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Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 1996 Feb;90(1):21-28.

Treatment of acute, uncomplicated, falciparum malaria with oral dihydroartemisinin.

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Department of Clinical Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.


A clinical trial of oral dihydroartemisinin for the treatment of acute, uncomplicated, falciparum malaria involved 53 adult patients in Thailand. Each received a total dose of 480 mg over 7 days (120 mg given immediately, followed by 60 mg/day) after being admitted to the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Bangkok for 28 days. Most (92%) completed the 28-day follow-up but four patients left the hospital early, for reasons unrelated to their treatment. Most patients showed clinical improvement 1-3 days after starting treatment and none suffered from serious adverse reactions. The cure rate was 90% (44/49). The mean (S.D.) parasite-clearance time was 40.4 (14.1) h and the mean fever-clearance time was 37.0 (30.2) h. Seven patients had a brief increase in parasitaemia after initiation of treatment but subsequent counts declined dramatically. Five patients who failed treatment (RI response) were successfully treated with quinine plus tetracycline for 7 days. No RII or RIII responses were observed. These findings indicate that treatment with oral dihydroartemisinin is effective and well tolerated, and that dihydroartemisinin may be suitable as an alternative treatment for acute, uncomplicated, falciparum malaria. Comparisons with other conventional antimalarial drugs in a large, double-blind, randomized trial and studies of dihydroartemisinin in combination with other, long-acting antimalarials are needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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