Assessment of efficacy and safety of artesunate plus sulfadoxine pyrimethamine combination for treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria
Keywords:Uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria, Artemisinin based combination therapy, Artesunate sulfadoxine pyrimethamine
Background: Resistance of Plasmodium falciparum to antimalarial drugs is common in India. World Health Organization (WHO) recommends artemisinin‑based combination therapy (ACT) to counter the development of resistance in P. falciparum. WHO recommends that ideally antimalarial drug treatment policy or guidelines should be reviewed regularly and updated at least once every 24 months. In consideration to the above recommendation, we planned to conduct the following study. The objective was to determine the efficacy and safety of artesunate + sulphadoxine‑pyrimethamine (AS + SP) in patients with uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria.
Methods: The study included 60 patients of uncomplicated P. falciparum. Each patient received AS + SP as per WHO guidelines. Diagnosis was confirmed by peripheral blood film. All patients were followed‑up on days 1, 3, 14, and 28 for detailed clinical and parasitological examination.
Results: Of a total 60 patients, 55 patients were followed‑up for 28 days. Remaining 5 patients were lost in follow‑up. As per protocol analysis, 91% (50) of patients had demonstrated adequate clinical and parasitological response. Remaining 9% (5) had treatment failure in which 5.5% (3) had late parasitological failure and 3.6% (2) had late clinical failure. In our study, mean parasite clearance time was 45.2 ± 4.2 hrs.
Conclusion: AS + SP is safe and effective drug for the treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria. However, the efficacy of this ACT needs to be carefully monitored periodically since treatment failure can occur due to resistance.
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