BACKGROUND: Artemether/lumefantrine (AL) has been adopted as the treatment of choice for uncomplicated malaria in Kenya and other countries in the region. Six-dose artemether/lumefantrine tablets are highly effective and safe for the treatment of infants and children weighing between five and 25 kg with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria. However, oral paediatric formulations are urgently needed, as the tablets are difficult to administer to young children, who cannot swallow whole tablets or tolerate the bitter taste of the crushed tablets.<br /><br />METHODS: A randomized, controlled, open-label trial was conducted comparing day 28 PCR corrected cure-rates in 245 children aged 6-59 months, treated over three days with either six-dose of artemether/lumefantrine tablets (Coartem) or three-dose of artemether/lumefantrine suspension (Co-artesiane) for uncomplicated falciparum malaria in western Kenya. The children were followed-up with clinical, parasitological and haematological evaluations over 28 days.<br /><br />RESULTS: Ninety three percent (124/133) and 90% (121/134) children in the AL tablets and AL suspension arms respectively completed followed up. A per protocol analysis revealed a PCR-corrected parasitological cure rate of 96.0% at Day 28 in the AL tablets group and 93.4% in the AL suspension group, p = 0.40. Both drugs effectively cleared gametocytes and were well tolerated, with no difference in the overall incidence of adverse events.<br /><br />CONCLUSION: The once daily three-dose of artemether-lumefantrine suspension (Co-artesiane(R)) was not superior to six-dose artemether-lumefantrine tablets (Coartem) for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria in children below five years of age in western Kenya.
Juma, E. A., Obonyo, C. O., Akhwale, W. S., & Ogutu, B. R. (2008). A randomized, open-label, comparative efficacy trial of artemether-lumefantrine suspension versus artemether-lumefantrine tablets for treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in children in western Kenya. Malaria Journal, 7. https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2875-7-262