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Artemether vs quinine therapy in Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Manipur--a preliminary report.

Author(s): Singh NB, Bhagyabati Devi S, Singh TB, Singh MA, Singh NB

Affiliation(s): Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal, Manipur.

Publication date & source: 2001-06, J Commun Dis., 33(2):83-7.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

Qinghaosu and its derivatives are rapidly effective antimalarial drugs derived from a Chinese plant (sweet worm wood). Preliminary studies suggest that these drugs may be more effective than quinine in the treatment of Plasmodium falciparum malaria. A randomised double blind trial was conducted in 52 cases of Plasmodium falciparum malaria cases. In all 26 cases were given artemether and another 26 were given quinine. There were 2 (7.5%) deaths in artemether group and 4 (15%) deaths in quinine group. The parasites were cleared more quickly from the blood in artemether group when compared to quinine group (mean-72 hrs vs 96 hrs). Resolution of fever was comparable in both artemether and quinine group (mean-84 hrs vs 78 hrs) and also the average time of recovery from coma was more earlier in artemether group (mean-60 hrs vs 72 hrs). The only side effect noticed with artemether therapy was gastrointestinal (GI) intolerance while quinine therapy was associated with myocarditis, hypotension, hypoglycemia and GI intolerance.

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