Rapid coma resolution with artemether in Malawian children with cerebral malaria.
Taylor TE., Wills BA., Kazembe P., Chisale M., Wirima JJ., Ratsma EY., Molyneux ME.
Artemisinin compounds clear parasitaemia more rapidly than other drugs do in both mild and severe malaria, but no advantage in clinical efficacy has been shown. We have compared artemether treatment with standard quinine treatment in Malawian children with cerebral malaria. 65 unconscious children were randomly allocated to intravenous quinine (n = 37) or intramuscular artemether (n = 28) treatment. The two groups were well matched for various prognostic features. Median parasite clearance times were shorter in the artemether group (28 [interquartile range 18-34] vs 40 [36-44] h in the quinine group, p = 0.0002). Coma resolution times were also shorter with artemether than with quinine (8 [4-15] vs 14 [10-36] h, p = 0.01).