Which major drug classes are used to treat malaria?

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

The 4 major drug classes currently used to treat malaria include quinoline-related compounds, antifolates, artemisinin derivatives, and antimicrobials. No single drug that can eradicate all forms of the parasite's life cycle has been discovered or manufactured yet. Therefore, 1 or more classes of drugs often are given at the same time to combat malarial infection synergistically. Treatment regimens are dependent on the geographic location of infection, the likely Plasmodium species, and the severity of disease presentation.


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