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Efficacy and tolerance of extended-dose halofantrine for drug-resistant falciparum malaria in Thailand






American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 50(2): 187-192

Efficacy and tolerance of extended-dose halofantrine for drug-resistant falciparum malaria in Thailand

New treatments for malaria are urgently needed in areas such as Thailand where highly drug-resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum are prevalent. Mefloquine is rapidly losing efficacy and conventional doses of halofantrine are infective. We therefore used pharmacokinetic stimulation to design an extended-dose halofantrine regimen and tested it in 26 soldiers stationed along the Thai-Cambodian border. Halofantrine was given after meals as three doses of 500 mg each at 4-hr intervals on the first day, followed by 500 mg a day for six days (total dose 4.5 g). Twenty-six soldiers treated with quinine-tetracycline for seven days (Q7T7) served as controls. There were no significant differences in efficacy between halofantrine and Q7T7 (P > 0.1) as assessed by cure rate (92% versus 85%), mean parasite clearance time (82 hr versus 81 hr), or mean fever clearance time (93 hr versus 99 hr). Halofantrine was better tolerated than Q7T7. The side effects score was lower (2 versus 11; P < 0.001), there were less days on which side effects occurred (2.0 days versus 5.5 days; P < 0.001), and fewer patients had adverse effects on every treatment day (4% versus 42%; P < 0.01). High-dose halofantrine is as effective and better tolerated than quinine-tetracycline for multidrug-resistant falciparum malaria.

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Accession: 002367330

PMID: 8116811



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