Volume 99, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



The pharmacokinetics (PK) and ex vivo activity (pharmacodynamics [PD]) of two artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs) (artemisinin–piperaquine [ARN–PPQ] [Artequick] and artesunate–amodiaquine [ARS–AQ] [Coarsucam]) in healthy Vietnamese volunteers were compared following 3-day courses of the ACTs for the preselection of the drugs for falciparum malaria therapy. For PK analysis, serial plasma samples were collected from two separate groups of 22 volunteers after ACT administration. Of these volunteers, ex vivo activity was assessed in plasma samples from seven volunteers who received both ACTs. The area under the concentration–time curve (AUC) was 3.6-fold higher for dihydroartemisinin (active metabolite of ARS) than that for ARN, whereas the AUC of desethylamodiaquine (active metabolite of AQ) was 2.0-fold lower than that of PPQ. Based on the 50% inhibitory dilution values of the volunteers’ plasma samples collected from 0.25 to 3 hours after the last dose, the ex vivo activity of ARS–AQ was 2.9- to 16.2-fold more potent than that of ARN–PPQ against the drug-sensitive D6 line. In addition, at 1.5, 4.0, and 24 hours after the last dose, the ex vivo activity of ARS–AQ was 20.8-, 3.5-, and 8.5-fold more potent than that of ARN–PPQ against the ARN-sensitive MRA1239 line. By contrast, at 1.5 hours, the ex vivo activity of ARS–AQ was 5.4-fold more active than that of ARN–PPQ but had similar activities at 4 and 24 hours against the ARN-resistant MRA1240 line. The PK–PD data suggest that ARS–AQ possesses superior antimalarial activity than that of ARN–PPQ and would be the preferred ACT for further in vivo efficacy testing in multidrug-resistant falciparum malaria areas.


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  • Received : 03 Jun 2017
  • Accepted : 09 Mar 2018
  • Published online : 07 May 2018

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