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The World in Medicine
May 18, 2005

Malaria Treatment

JAMA. 2005;293(19):2333. doi:10.1001/jama.293.19.2333-c

Two new studies by researchers in Europe and Africa indicate that combining two antimalarial drugs, artemether plus lumefantrine, is an effective way to treat malaria caused by drug-resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum.

In one study, researchers from England and Tanzania randomly assigned about 1800 children with malaria to receive amodiaquine alone, amodiaquine combined with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine or artesunate, or artemether plus lumefantrine (Mutabingwa et al. Lancet. 2005;365:1474-1480). After 14 days, parasites were cleared from the blood of 99% of children who received the artemether-lumefantrine combination compared with rates of 58% to 89% in the other groups. After 28 days, only 3% of children who received the artemether-lumefantrine combination had a recurrence compared with failure rates of 12% to 49% in the other groups.

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