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Indications

Artesunate can quickly and reliably control the acute attack of malaria. It is suitable to salvage the patients with pernicious malaria and treat P. falciparum malaria and P. vivax malaria. It is effective against malaria caused by chloroquine resistant strain of plasmodium falciparum.

Therapeutic Class

Anti-malarial drugs

Pharmacology

Artesunate is a potent and rapidly-acting blood schizontocide derived from the leaves of the chinese herb, Armesia annua. The exact mode of action is not clear but clinical studies have confirmed the effectiveness of artesunate in P. vivax and falciparum malaria.

Dosage & Administration

Adult: 5 days treatment: on the 1st day 2 tablets twice and 2nd day onward 1 tablet twice daily for remaining 4 days

Children:
  • 1-3 years: 5 days treatment: on the 1st day ½ tablet twice and 2nd day onward ¼ tablet twice daily for remaining 4 days
  • 4-5 years: 5 days treatment: on the 1st day 1 tablet twice and 2nd day onward ½ tablet twice daily for remaining 4 days
  • 6-12 years: 5 days treatment: on the 1st day ½ tablet twice, 2nd day 1 tablet twice and 3rd day onward ½ tablet twice daily for remaining 3 days
Prophylmcis: 100 mg tablet once a week, from 1 week before entering malarial areas, to 4 weeks after leaving the area.

Interaction

Antimalarial potentiating action seen with mefloquine, primaquine and tetracycline. Additive effect with chloroquine. Antagonistic effect with pyrimethamine and sulphonamides.

Contraindications

Hypersensitivity.

Side Effects

Transient and reversible reticulocytopaenia, drug fever, rash, bradycardia, transient 1st-degree heart block and reversible elevation of serum transaminases.

Pregnancy & Lactation

Pregnancy category is not classified. FDA has yet not classified the drug into a specific pregnancy catagory.

Precautions & Warnings

Hepatic or renal insufficiency; Pregnancy and lactation.