An open study to evaluate the efficacy of artemether in severe falciparum malaria.

An open clinical trial was conducted in 30 patients of severe falciparum malaria with heavy parasitaemia (parasitized erythrocytes above 5%). Artemether (methyl ether of dihydroartemisinin-active principle isolated from Chinese plant Qinghaosu) was administered as 80 mg intramuscular injection twice on first day and then single dose of 80 mg intramuscular on 2nd to 5th day. The trial could be completed in 28 patients and two patients expired. In our observation falciparum malaria affected the young adults in their most productive period of life i.e. 25-44 yrs. All patients became afebrile by the 4th day with fever clearance time approximately 31.92 +/- 15.30 hr. Twenty-five patients (83.33%) became parasite free by 5th day with mean parasite clearance time approximately 47.04 +/- 19.95 hr. Deranged liver function and renal profile was observed in 63% and 50% patients respectively. Two patients, who died had very high degree of parasitaemia (50% and 16%) with cerebral malaria. One died due to multiorgan failure and other due to massive hematemesis and shock. The type of response achieved by artemether therapy was analysed as per WHO criteria suggested for chloroquine resistance. S response was observed in 25 patients (cure rate 83.33%). Two patients (6.66%) patients showed R II response, one patient (3.33%) showed R III response and R I response was not observed in any patient. No significant side effects were noted. This pilot study demonstrated that intramuscular artemether is a useful addition to antimalarial drugs in this era of multidrug resistant P. falciparum malaria showing high clinical potency with virtually no side effect.
AuthorsP Sharma, D Swarup, G N Saxena, S Bhandari, U B Sharma, R Tuteja
JournalThe Journal of the Association of Physicians of India (J Assoc Physicians India) Vol. 47 Issue 9 Pg. 883-5 (Sep 1999) ISSN: 0004-5772 [Print] INDIA
PMID10778657 (Publication Type: Clinical Trial, Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • Antimalarials
  • Artemisinins
  • Sesquiterpenes
  • artemether
  • Adult
  • Antimalarials (administration & dosage, adverse effects)
  • Artemisinins
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intramuscular
  • Malaria, Falciparum (drug therapy)
  • Male
  • Parasitemia (drug therapy)
  • Pilot Projects
  • Sesquiterpenes (administration & dosage, adverse effects)
  • Treatment Outcome

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