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Malaria (cont.)

Malaria Medications

There are several medications available to treat malaria, including

  • chloroquine (Aralen Phosphate),
  • atovaquone-proguanil (Malarone),
  • artemether-lumefantrine (Coartem),
  • mefloquine (Lariam),
  • quinine (Qualaquin),
  • quinidine (Quinaglute Dura-Tabs, Quinidex Extentabs, Quin-Release),
  • doxycycline (Adoxa, Alodox, Avidoxy, Doryx, Monodox, Oracea, Oraxyl, Periostat, Vibramycin, Vibramycin Calcium, Vibramycin Monohydrate, Vibra-Tabs, used in combination with quinine),
  • clindamycin (Cleocin HCl, Cleocin Pediatric, used in combination with quinine),
  • artesunate (available only through the CDC).

The choice of drug depends on the species of Plasmodium and the risk of drug-resistance in the area where the malaria was acquired. In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, older drugs like chloroquine are largely ineffective.

Most medications are available only in tablet or pill form. Intravenous treatment with quinidine may be needed in severe malaria or when the patient cannot take oral medications. Malaria during pregnancy requires treatment by someone who is expert in this area. Miscarriage and maternal death may occur, even in the best of hands.

Importantly, the CDC maintains a malaria hotline. Clinicians can telephone the CDC for advice on diagnosis and treatment of the disease (http://www.cdc.gov).

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Malaria »

Malaria, which predominantly occurs in tropical areas, is a potentially life-threatening disease caused by infection with Plasmodium protozoa transmitted by an infective female Anopheles mosquito vector.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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