What are the general recommendations for pharmacologic treatment of malaria?

Updated: Jun 03, 2020
  • Author: Thomas E Herchline, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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In the United States, patients with P falciparum infection are often treated on an inpatient basis to allow observation for complications. Patients with non– P falciparum malaria who are well can usually be treated on an outpatient basis.

General recommendations for pharmacologic treatment of malaria are as follows:

  • P falciparum malaria: Quinine-based therapy is with quinine (or quinidine) sulfate plus doxycycline or clindamycin or pyrimethamine-sulfadoxine; alternative therapies are artemether-lumefantrine, atovaquone-proguanil, or mefloquine

  • P falciparum malaria with known chloroquine susceptibility (only a few areas in Central America and the Middle East): Chloroquine

  • P vivax, P ovale malaria: Chloroquine plus primaquine

  • P malariae malaria: Chloroquine

  • P knowlesi malaria: Same recommendations as for P falciparum malaria

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