Surveillance for Adverse Drug Reactions to Combination Antimalarial Therapy with Sulfadoxine-Pyrimethamine plus Artesunate in Peru

Javier Cairo U.S. Naval Medical Research Center Detachment Lima, Peru; National Institute of Health Lima, Peru; Dirección Regional de Salud Piura, Ministerio de Salud Piura, Peru

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Salomón Durand U.S. Naval Medical Research Center Detachment Lima, Peru; National Institute of Health Lima, Peru; Dirección Regional de Salud Piura, Ministerio de Salud Piura, Peru

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Wilmer Marquiño U.S. Naval Medical Research Center Detachment Lima, Peru; National Institute of Health Lima, Peru; Dirección Regional de Salud Piura, Ministerio de Salud Piura, Peru

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César Cabezas U.S. Naval Medical Research Center Detachment Lima, Peru; National Institute of Health Lima, Peru; Dirección Regional de Salud Piura, Ministerio de Salud Piura, Peru

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Arnaldo Lachira U.S. Naval Medical Research Center Detachment Lima, Peru; National Institute of Health Lima, Peru; Dirección Regional de Salud Piura, Ministerio de Salud Piura, Peru

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Fernando Quintana U.S. Naval Medical Research Center Detachment Lima, Peru; National Institute of Health Lima, Peru; Dirección Regional de Salud Piura, Ministerio de Salud Piura, Peru

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Walter Vegas U.S. Naval Medical Research Center Detachment Lima, Peru; National Institute of Health Lima, Peru; Dirección Regional de Salud Piura, Ministerio de Salud Piura, Peru

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Trenton K. Ruebush II U.S. Naval Medical Research Center Detachment Lima, Peru; National Institute of Health Lima, Peru; Dirección Regional de Salud Piura, Ministerio de Salud Piura, Peru

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Gregory Utz U.S. Naval Medical Research Center Detachment Lima, Peru; National Institute of Health Lima, Peru; Dirección Regional de Salud Piura, Ministerio de Salud Piura, Peru

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David J. Bacon U.S. Naval Medical Research Center Detachment Lima, Peru; National Institute of Health Lima, Peru; Dirección Regional de Salud Piura, Ministerio de Salud Piura, Peru

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In 2001, Peru changed its treatment policy for uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria on the northern Pacific Coast to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine with atresunate (SP-AS). Because Peru was the first country in the Americas to adopt this combination therapy, we established a surveillance system in the region to assess the frequency of new or worsening symptoms after starting therapy. Over a period of two years, 1,552, or approximately two-thirds of all patients with uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria who had received SP-AS on the northern coast were followed up. Of these, 8.8% reported at least one adverse effect, with the most common being vomiting, nausea, headache, abdominal pain, dizziness, and fever; no severe adverse effects related to SP-AS therapy were identified. Treatment of uncomplicated malaria with SP-AS was associated with a low frequency of mild adverse effects in Peru, and therefore should be considered as a first-line therapy in areas of the Americas where SP efficacy is still high.

Author Notes

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