Comparative Efficacy Study of Chloroquine Dihydroartemisinin and Dihydroartemisinin plus Mefloquine Combination in Children with acute uncomplicated falciparum Malaria
This study evaluated the efficacy of chloroquine (CQ), dihyroartemisinin (DHA) and the combination of dihyroartemisinin plus mefloquine (MQ) in Nigerian children with acute uncomplicated falciparum malaria. Method: Seventy-five subjects aged 2-13 years attending the outpatient clinic of Ijede health center, Ikorodu and Massey Street Hospital, Lagos Island were screened for malaria parasites and enrolled into the study after informed consent from the parents or guardians. Subjects were allotted to one of the three treatment groups.CQ, DHA and DHA plus MQ combination. They were followed up for 28 days. Result: Therapeutic responses of the subjects to the antimalarial drugs showed that 16% of the children failed treatment with chloroquine. No treatment failure was observed in the other treatment groups. The parasite clearance time (PCT) of patients treated with dihyroartemisinin plus mefloquine combination (PCT = 36.0 + 16.97 hours) was significantly shorter (P>0.003) compared to those treated with chloroquine alone (PCT = 73.5 + 45.44 hours). Fever clearance time (FCT) was significantly shorter (P=0.003) in children treated with dihyroartemisinin plus mefloquine combination (FCT = 20.0 ± 6.93 hours) compared to those treated with chloroquine alone. However, neither PCT nor FCT was significantly different (P>0.05) in children treated with either dihyroartemisinin or dihyroartemisinin plus mefloquine combination. Conclusion: This result shows that dihyroartemisinin in combination with other antimalarial drugs may be a good alternative for chloroquine in areas where chloroquine resistance is high.
Keywords: Malaria, dihyroartemisinin, mefloquine, chloroquine, combination therapy.
NQJHM Vol. 15 (2) 2005: pp. 59-63