IV Artesunate for treatment of severe malaria in children and adults

31 Jan 2019 - 12:30

A Department of Health memo was sent out in December regarding IV artesunate – first line treatment for severe malaria in both children and adults.

According to the memo, intravenous quinine should only be used as an alternative antimalarial medicine for the treatment for severe malaria in facilities without prompt access to intravenous artesunate.

Advantages of intravenous (or IM) artesunate over intravenous (or IM) quinine:

  • Severe malaria case fatality rates reduced by 39°/o in adults and 24°/o in
  • children when treated with injectable artesunate rather than injectable quinine
  • More cost effective
  • Simpler dosage regimen and simpler to administer
  • Better safety profile
  • No dosage adjustment needed in renal or hepatic impairment

We have the full memo with dosage, administration and safety. If you would like it, please call the MIC and we can send it. 

For drug queries, contact the NICD Hotline on 082 883 9920.