Volume 62, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


In India, treatment of acute, uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria is becoming increasingly difficult due to resistance to chloroquine, thus there is a need for new antimalarial drugs. CGP 56697 (co-artemether), a new drug, is a combination of artemether and lumefantrine in a single oral formulation (one tablet = 20 mg of artemether plus 120 mg of lumefantrine). In a double-blind study, 179 patients with acute uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria were randomly assigned to receive either CGP (n = 89) given as a short course of 4 x 4 tablets over a 48-hr period or chloroquine (n = 90) given as four tablets (one tablet = 150 mg of chloroquine base) initially, followed by two tablets each at 6-8, 24, and 48 hr. Due to a death in the chloroquine group and a decrease in the chloroquine cure rate to < 50% (based on the blinded overall cure rate at that time), recruitment was terminated prematurely. CGP 56697 showed a superior 28-day cure rate (95.4% versus 19.7%; P < 0.001), time to parasite clearance (median = 36 versus 60 hr; P < 0.001), and resolution of fever (median = 18 versus 27 hr; P = 0.0456). This drug provides a safe, effective, and rapid therapy for the treatment of acute uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria.


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