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A randomised trial was conducted in adults and children (> 1 year old) with acute falciparum malaria in Western Myanmar to compare the operational effectiveness of 4 different artesunate-mefloquine combinations. All regimens were well tolerated. During 42 days follow-up polymerase chain reaction genotyping-confirmed recrudescence occurred in 11 of 187 (5.9%) patients who received observed single low-dose mefloquine (15 mg/kg) and artesunate (4 mg/kg), 7 of 192 (3.6%) patients following observed single high-dose mefloquine (25 mg/kg) and artesunate (4 mg/kg), 7 of 180 (3.9%) patients following observed artesunate 4 mg/kg on day 0 plus self-administered mefloquine 15 mg/kg on day 1 and 10 mg/kg on day 2 with artesunate 4 mg/kg/day on day 1 and 2, and none of 177 patients who received this 3 d regimen under direct observation (P = 0.01). Compared with 3 d treatment regimens, single dose treatments were followed by significantly more P vivax infections during the 42 d follow-up (P = 0.009). Post treatment anaemia (haemoglobin < 10 g/dL) was reduced by the 3 d regimens. Gametocyte appearance was low with all 4 regimens. Single dose observed mefloquine-artesunate regimens were very effective, but the 3 d artesunate-mefloquine regimen is the best treatment for acute falciparum malaria in Western Myanmar. Active measures to ensure absorption and improve adherence will be necessary to realise this advantage operationally.


Journal article


Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg

Publication Date





182 - 192


Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Anemia, Antimalarials, Artemisinins, Child, Child, Preschool, Drug Combinations, Female, Hemoglobins, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Malaria, Falciparum, Malaria, Vivax, Male, Mefloquine, Middle Aged, Rural Health, Sesquiterpenes