An open, randomized comparison of artesunate plus mefloquine vs. dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine for the treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Laos).
Mayxay M., Thongpraseuth V., Khanthavong M., Lindegårdh N., Barends M., Keola S., Pongvongsa T., Phompida S., Phetsouvanh R., Stepniewska K., White NJ., Newton PN.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the efficacy and safety of oral dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP, Artekin) in the treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in southern Laos. METHODS: An open, randomized clinical trial of oral artesunate-mefloquine (AM) vs. DP in 220 patients with acute uncomplicated falciparum malaria in Savannakhet Province, Laos. RESULTS: The 42-day cure rates (95% CI), as determined by survival analysis and adjusted for reinfection, were excellent and similar for the two groups [99 (94-100)% and 100 (100-100)% for AM and DP, respectively]. The median (range) fever and parasite clearance times for the AM and DP groups were also similar [20 (4-63) h and 2 (1-4) days vs. 20 (7-57) and 2 (1-4) days, logrank P = 0.4 and 0.17, respectively]. There were more patients with at least one potential side effect following treatment in the AM group when compared with the DP group [64/110 (58%) vs. 48/110 (44%), respectively, P = 0.031]. CONCLUSION: Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine did not have superior efficacy to AM for the treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria in Laos but was associated with fewer adverse effects.