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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Coartem

Generic Name: artemether and lumefantrine (Pronunciation: ar TEM e ther and LOO me FAN treen)

What is artemether and lumefantrine (Coartem)?

Artemether and lumefantrine are medications to treat malaria, a disease caused by parasites. These medicines work by interfering with the growth of parasites in the red blood cells of the human body.

Parasites that cause malaria typically enter the body through the bite of a mosquito. Malaria is common in areas such as Africa, South America, and Southern Asia.

The combination of artemether and lumefantrine is used to treat non-severe malaria.

This medication is used only to treat malaria. Do not use artemether and lumefantrine to prevent malaria.

Artemether and lumefantrine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of artemether and lumefantrine (Coartem)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • worsening malaria symptoms;
  • dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeat;
  • severe or uncontrolled vomiting or diarrhea; or
  • stomach pain, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Call your doctor if you develop fever, chills, body aches, severe headache, or flu symptoms after you have finished taking all your doses of artemether and lumefantrine.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • weakness, mild headache;
  • nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;
  • cough;
  • joint or muscle pain; or
  • sleep problems (insomnia).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about artemether and lumefantrine (Coartem)?

This medication is used only to treat malaria. Do not use artemether and lumefantrine to prevent malaria.

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to artemether or lumefantrine.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you have a history of heart disease or "Long QT syndrome," liver or kidney disease, or low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood.

Take artemether and lumefantrine with food, milk, oatmeal, or broth. The tablet may be crushed and mixed with water for easier swallowing.

If you vomit within 1 hour after taking this medication, take another dose. If your vomiting continues or you cannot eat, call your doctor.

In addition to taking artemether and lumefantrine, use protective clothing, insect repellents, and mosquito netting around your bed to further prevent mosquito bites that could cause malaria.

No medication is 100% effective in treating or preventing malaria. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Talk with your doctor if you have fever, vomiting, or diarrhea during your treatment.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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