Comparative clinical trial of four regimens of dihydroartemisinin-mefloquine in multidrug-resistant falciparum malaria
We conducted a randomized, comparative trial at the Bangkok Hospital for Tropical Diseases during 1996–98 to evaluate the clinical efficacy and tolerability of four combination regimens of dihydroartemisinin-mefloquine. 207 male patients aged 18–25 years, weighing 49.3–55.1 kg were randomized to receive a single oral dose of 300 mg dihydroartemisinin plus one or two doses of mefloquine as follows: regimen I (n = 26): 750 mg mefloquine concurrently, or regimen II (n = 22): 750 mg mefloquine 24 h later, or regimen III (n = 78): 750 and 500 mg mefloquine at 24 and 30 h, or regimen IV (n = 81): 750 and 500 mg mefloquine (at 0 and 24 h). All patients improved clinically within 24 h of initiation of treatment. The initial therapeutic response was rapid and identical in all treatment groups (median PCT vs. FCT: 36 vs. 24, 36 vs. 28, 36 vs. 26, and 34 vs. 26 h, for regimen I, II, III and IV, respectively). All combination regimens generally showed acceptable tolerability profiles. Compliance with follow-up (42 days) was achieved by 86.5% (179 cases). Recrudescent parasitaemia was significantly higher in patients treated with low-dose mefloquine combinations (regimens I, II:8/23, 9/16) than in those who received high-dose mefloquine (regimens III, IV: 2/70, 3/70). No RII or RIII type of response was observed. There were no significant differences in susceptibility to mefloquine between primary and recrudescent isolates. Dose-adjusted whole blood mefloquine concentrations were significantly higher in high-dose mefloquine regimens (III and IV). Patients who vomited within the first hour of mefloquine administration had markedly lower whole blood mefloquine concentrations than those who did not vomit.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Clinical Pharmacology Unit, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand 2: Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
Publication date: September 1, 1999