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An open paired randomized comparison of intramuscular and intravenous artesunate was conducted in 28 adult patients with severe falciparum malaria. The dose regimen in both groups was 2 mg/kg given immediately followed by 1 mg/kg at 12 and 24 h, and then daily until the patient could swallow. Both routes of administration were well tolerated and there was no evidence of toxicity. One patient in each treatment group died. Clinical and parasitological measures of recovery in survivors were similar in the 2 groups with mean fever clearance times of 37.3 h (standard deviation [SD] = 26.1 h) and 31.5 h (SD = 24.2 h) and mean parasite clearance times of 33.4 h (SD = 13.9 h) and 29.4 h (SD = 12.7 h) in the intravenous and intramuscular groups respectively. Artesunate is equally effective and well tolerated when given by the intravenous or intramuscular routes.

Original publication




Journal article


Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg

Publication Date





584 - 585


Adolescent, Adult, Antimalarials, Artemisinins, Artesunate, Humans, Injections, Intramuscular, Injections, Intravenous, Malaria, Falciparum, Middle Aged, Sesquiterpenes