Parasitaemia Changes in the Course of Treatment of Severe Malaria Patients with Artemether and Quinine (A Preliminary Study)
Background. Severe malaria is a medical emergency with devastating multisystemic effect, if not promptly treated with sensitive and safe drugs, death is imminent. Quinine and artemether are antimalaria drugs that are used in severe malaria.
Aim. Efforts in this study were directed at comparing parasitaemia changes in the cause of treatment of severe malaria patients with artemether and quinine in Ikenne local Government area of Ogun State, Southwest Nigeria.
Materials and Methods. Thirty two patients in the study were randomly assigned to receive either artemether or quinine under medical supervision. 32 patients were allocated into two groups. Patients in the quinine group were given 10 mg/kg body weight quinine in 5% dextrosesaline infusion intravenously 8 hour intervals but changed to oral quinine (10 mg/kg body weight, 8 hr intervals) for 7 days. The patients in artemether group received 1.6 mg/kg body weight twice at day 0 and then 1.6 mg/kg bwt daily intramuscularly for the next four days. The patients were then followed up for 14 days.
Results. The parasitological density in the study group ranged from 71,500/μl to 140,024/μl with a mean of 95,122.63 ± SD 16,044.7. The quinine group had a range of 71,500 to 108,400/μl with a mean of 89,425/μl ± SD 12,481.53. The artemether group had a range of 72,500 to 140,024/μl and a mean of 100,820/μl ± SD 17,520. There was statistical significance between the two groups (p<0.05). Parasite cleared in all patients by day 3 in quinine and artemether except in one patient in artemether group in whom parasitaemia cleared by day 7.
Conclusion. Results from this study indicated that artemether relative to quinine initiated a faster and sustained recovery from high parasitaemia level in the patients' blood.
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