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Lancet Infect Dis. 2010 Feb;10(2):125-32. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(09)70327-5.

Do paediatric drug formulations of artemisinin combination therapies improve the treatment of children with malaria? A systematic review and meta-analysis.

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


Paediatric formulations of artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs) have recently been developed for the treatment of children with falciparum malaria. Compared with conventional tablet formulations, the new non-tablet preparations have shown equivalent efficacy, safety, and tolerability in individual trials. We aimed to investigate whether objective evidence supports the development and use of paediatric ACTs. A systematic review identified seven studies involving 2515 children that were eligible for meta-analysis. Similar efficacy and safety were seen in pooled analyses of paediatric and conventional formulations. 23 (2.0%) of 1154 patients in the paediatric formulation groups and 19 (1.7%) of 1137 in the tablet formulation groups were not cured (RR 1.27, 95% CI 0.66-2.44). Despite similar overall tolerability, the tolerability of drug administration was improved for paediatric formulations as shown by significantly fewer patients with drug-induced vomiting (93 of 1018 and 114 of 837 patients; risk ratio [RR] 0.78, 95% CI 0.61-0.99), and drug-related gastrointestinal disorders (8 of 545 and 15 of 358 patients; RR 0.36, 95% CI 0.15-0.85). These data provide, for the first time, evidence for improved management of children by use of paediatric formulations, and support the further development and use of paediatric ACTs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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