Background and objectives: India has switched over to artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) for the treatment of acute uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria and the ACT used in the national programme is artesunate + sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine. Since the efficacy of ACT is dependent also on the partner drug, there is a need to evaluate and deploy multiple ACTs.
Methods: This multicentre, single-arm, open-label clinical trial was carried out to assess the efficacy, safety and population pharmacokinetics of a fixed dose combination (FDC) artesunate mefloquine (ASMQ) in P. falciparum infected, Indian adults at Panjim, Goa, and Mangalore, Karnataka between December 2007 and November 2008.
Results: A total of 77 patients (males 74) were screened and enrolled: 42 at Goa and 35 at Mangalore with a median age of 25 yr (range 18–55 yr). One patient failed in treatment on D53, a PCR proven new infection, seven developed recurrent vivax parasitaemia and 11 did not have a parasitological endpoint. By per protocol analysis, the D63 cure rate was 58/59 (98.3; 95% C.I. 90.9–99.9%), and 58/58, with PCR correction. ASMQ was well-tolerated and no serious adverse events were reported.
Interpretation and conclusion: The study showed that the ASMQ FDC was efficacious and well-tolerated for the treatment of acute, uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria in highly endemic, chloroquine resistant areas of Goa and Mangalore. It is a viable option for India.
Neena Valecha; Srivastava, B.; Dubhashi, N.G.; Krishnamoorthy Rao, B.H.; Ashwani Kumar; Ghosh, S.K.; Singh, J.P.N.; Kiechel, J.R.; Sharma, B.; Julien, V.; Dash, A.P.; Taylor, W.R.J.; Anvikar, A.R. Safety, efficacy and population pharmacokinetics of fixed-dose combination of artesunate-mefloquine in the treatment of acute uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in India. Journal of Vector Borne Diseases (2013) 50 (4) 258-264.