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Studies of 652 adults and children with acute uncomplicated falciparum malaria were done to determine the optimum treatment of multidrug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria on the Thai-Burmese border. Single-dose artesunate (4 mg/kg) plus mefloquine (25 mg of base/kg) gave more rapid symptomatic and parasitologic responses than high-dose mefloquine alone but did not improve cure rates. Three days of artesunate (total dose, 10 mg/kg) plus mefloquine was 98% effective compared with a 28-day failure rate of 31% with high-dose mefloquine alone (relative risk [RR], 0.06; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.02-0.2; P < .0001). By day 63, the reinfection adjusted failure rates were 2% and 44%, respectively (P < .0001). Artesunate also prevented high-grade failures. Both drugs were well tolerated. No adverse effects were attributable to artesunate. Vomiting was reduced significantly by giving mefloquine on day 2 of treatment (RR, 0.40; 95% CI, 0.20-0.79; P = .009. Artesunate (10 mg/kg over 3 days) plus mefloquine (25 mg/kg) is currently the most effective treatment for falciparum malaria in this area of increasing mefloquine resistance.

Original publication




Journal article


J Infect Dis

Publication Date





971 - 977


Adult, Animals, Antimalarials, Artemisinins, Artesunate, Child, Disease-Free Survival, Drug Administration Schedule, Drug Resistance, Multiple, Drug Therapy, Combination, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Malaria, Falciparum, Mefloquine, Myanmar, Plasmodium falciparum, Recurrence, Sesquiterpenes, Thailand, Time Factors