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Free Content An open, randomized comparison of artesunate plus mefloquine vs. dihydroartemisinin–piperaquine for the treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Laos)

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Summary Objective 

To determine the efficacy and safety of oral dihydroartemisinin–piperaquine (DP, ArtekinTM) in the treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in southern Laos. Methods 

An open, randomized clinical trial of oral artesunate–mefloquine (AM) vs. DP in 220 patients with acute uncomplicated falciparum malaria in Savannakhet Province, Laos. Results 

The 42-day cure rates (95% CI), as determined by survival analysis and adjusted for reinfection, were excellent and similar for the two groups [99 (94–100)% and 100 (100–100)% for AM and DP, respectively]. The median (range) fever and parasite clearance times for the AM and DP groups were also similar [20 (4–63) h and 2 (1–4) days vs. 20 (7–57) and 2 (1–4) days, logrank P = 0.4 and 0.17, respectively]. There were more patients with at least one potential side effect following treatment in the AM group when compared with the DP group [64/110 (58%) vs. 48/110 (44%), respectively, P = 0.031]. Conclusion 

Dihydroartemisinin–piperaquine did not have superior efficacy to AM for the treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria in Laos but was associated with fewer adverse effects.

Keywords: Laos; Plasmodium falciparum; artemisinin-based combination therapy; dihydroartemisinin–piperaquine; malaria

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1:  Centre of Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology, Vientiane, Lao PDR 2:  Phalanxay District Clinic, Savannakhet Province, Lao PDR 3:  Savannakhet Provincial Malaria Station, Savannakhet Province, Lao PDR

Publication date: 2006-08-01

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