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Halofantrine versus quinine-Fansidar combination in the treatment of post-chloroquine falciparum parasitaemia.

Author(s): Hombhanje FW

Affiliation(s): Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby.

Publication date & source: 1998-09, P N G Med J., 41(3-4):112-5.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

The standard first-line treatment for malaria in adults in Papua New Guinea is chloroquine; for severe and treatment-failure malaria standard therapy is a combination of quinine and Fansidar (sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine). These standard treatments are currently under revision. The present study evaluated the effect of halofantrine in treatment-failure falciparum malaria in adults in Port Moresby compared to standard therapy. In the halofantrine group all parasites were cleared by day 5 after starting therapy, in the quinine-Fansidar group by day 7. There was no evidence of recurrence of parasitaemia during the 21-day follow-up in either group. Nausea was associated with halofantrine use in 68% of patients. In the quinine-Fansidar group 79% had muffled deafness, 32% tinnitus and 26% dizziness; 32% of patients withdrew from treatment on day 2 because of intolerance to quinine. Halofantrine in this study population provided an efficacy against treatment-failure falciparum malaria similar to that of quinine-Fansidar, with a more favourable profile of adverse effects.

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