Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Journal

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Short Communication: In Vivo Trypanocidal Activity of Artemether

M Singfrid, M Veronica, H Ambrose, M Fransisco


The objective of this study was to test the antimalarial drug, artemether, for possible in vivo trypanocidal activity using laboratory animal models. Three dosages of artemether calculated on the basis of the recommended adult human dosage for monotherapy treatment of malaria were used. The control solutions contained no drug. Infected animals (albino mice) were treated either after 24 h (Phase I) or after 2-4 parasites were observed per field in the tail blood (Phase II). Doses were administered intraperitonially for three consecutive days. Parasitemia was then followed until death of the animals. The rate of increase of parasitemia and the average survival time was assessed and compared for each dosage group and the control. Artemether showed promising in vivo antitrypanosomal activity by decreasing the rate of increase in parasitemia and increasing the survival time as compared to the controls. The recommended average
human dose for the drug gave the highest survival time and the best control of parasitemia in both phases. The drug was more effective when given early (24 h after infection; survival time average 10 days) than
when given late (2-3 days after infection; survival time average 6 days). Further studies are worth pursuing for possible development of this drug and other members of the artemisinin group as potential trypanocidal
agents for clinical use either alone or in combination.
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