Malaria is a major cause of illness and death in many of the world's poorest countries. It is spread from person to person by the bite of mosquitoes infected with a microorganism called Plasmodium. The Plasmodium species P. falciparum is the most common cause of malaria worldwide and causes the majority of deaths. Uncomplicated malaria is the mild form of the disease which, if left untreated, can progress rapidly to become life threatening. The drugs traditionally used to treat uncomplicated malaria have become ineffective in many parts of the world due to the development of drug resistance. This review summarizes the relative benefits and harms of the four ACTs in common use, one relatively new ACT (dihydroartemisinin plus piperaquine), and one combination which does not contain an artemisinin derivative but remains in use in some African countries (amodiaquine plus sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine).
Sinclair, D.; Zani, B.; Donegan, S.; Olliaro, P.; Garner, P. Artemisinin-based combination therapy for treating uncomplicated malaria. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2009) (Issue 3) Art. No.: CD007483. [DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007483.pub2]