What is the role of artemisinin for the treatment of malaria?

Updated: Apr 26, 2019
  • Author: Thomas E Herchline, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Despite the activity of artemisinin and its derivatives, monotherapy with these agents has been associated with high rates of relapse. This may be due to the temporary arrest of the growth of ring-stage parasites (dormancy) after exposure to artemisinin drugs. For this reason, monotherapy with artemisinin drugs is not recommended. [22] Rectal artesunate has been used for pretreatment of children in resource-limited settings as a bridge therapy until the patient can access health care facilities for definitive IV or oral therapy. [23]

Despite their being a fairly new antimalarial class, resistance to artemisinins has been reported in some parts of southeast Asia (Cambodia). [24]


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