Three-dose artesunate therapy effective in treating children with malaria

July 05, 2017

Professor Krishna said: "The five-dose regimen has been in place for a number of years, but the WHO's recommendations are based on large studies mainly looking at improvements in survival levels. We suggested there was a better, simpler way to administer this highly effective drug, so we looked at how the parasites actually respond to the treatment.

"Now we know the shorter treatment works as effectively, this could lead to very significant improvements in how we use artesunate. If you imagine a busy malaria ward in an African hospital with 30 seriously ill children all needing to be given their regular doses, the pressure on doctors and nurses means some children are very likely to miss doses. A shorter regimen would make this much less likely."

Professor Krishna estimated that, by reducing the extra vials of the drug, equipment and staff needed to administer the five-dose regimen, switching to three doses could reduce the cost in resource-poor settings by 40 per cent.

He added that the next step in further improving treatment regimens is to explore different methods of administering by injection to reduce costs further and enhance efficiency.

Source: jid.oxfordjournals/content/early/2011/12/14/infdis.jir724.full

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