Pharmacologic Advances in the Global Control and Treatment of Malaria: Combination Therapy and Resistance

Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
Clinical Pharmacology &#38 Therapeutics (Impact Factor: 7.39). 12/2007; 82(5):601-5. DOI: 10.1038/sj.clpt.6100361
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Combination drug therapy for malaria is recommended both to prevent and to overcome drug resistance. Drug combinations developed for use in Asia are being deployed in Africa, where higher rates of malaria affect the therapeutic and public health objectives of malaria chemotherapy as well as drug safety. Rational consideration of drug mechanisms, pharmacokinetics (PK), pharmacodynamics (PD), and malaria epidemiology should result in more effective combination regimens that retain therapeutic and prophylactic efficacy in the face of resistance.

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    ABSTRACT: Dapsone use is frequently associated to hematological side effects such as methemoglobinemia and hemolytic anemia, which are related to N-hydroxylation mediated by the P450 enzyme system. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the influence of L-arginine supplementation, a precursor for the synthesis of nitric oxide, as single or multiple dose regimens on dapsone-induced methemoglobinemia. Male Wistar rats were treated with L-arginine at 5, 15, 30, 60 and 180 mg/kg doses (p.o., gavage) in single or multiple dose regimens 2 hours prior to dapsone administration (40 mg/kg, i.p.). The effect of the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor L-NAME was investigated by treatment with multiple doses of 30 mg/kg (p.o., gavage) 2 hours before dapsone administration. Blood samples were collected 2 hours after dapsone administration. Erythrocytic methemoglobin levels were assayed by spectrophotometry. The results showed that multiple dose supplementations with 5 and 15 mg/kg L-arginine reduced dapsone-induced methemoglobin levels. This effect is mediated by nitric oxide formation, since the reduction in methemoglobin levels by L-arginine is blocked by simultaneous administration with L-NAME, a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor.
    Brazilian Journal of Pharmaceutical Science 01/2012; 48:87-94. DOI:10.1590/S1984-82502012000100010 · 0.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Fixed-dose combinations of artemisinin combination therapy are strongly recommended to facilitate drug administration and compliance. New fixed-dose combinations must nevertheless be evaluated in relevant populations in terms of efficacy and pharmacokinetics. Methods: A single-arm, open-label, clinical trial was performed in Indian patients with acute uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria to investigate the efficacy and the pharmacokinetics of mefloquine when combined with artesunate in a fixed-dose combination (400/200 mg of mefloquine base/artesunate). The pharmacokinetic analysis was performed using a population approach. Results: Seventy-seven patients were included in the study. Mefloquine pharmacokinetics obeys a two-compartment model with first-order absorption and elimination. Mean parameter estimates (% inter-individual variability) were as follows: 0.16 h(-1) (75%) for the absorption rate constant, 1.13 L/h (30%) for the apparent plasma clearance, 271 L (21%) for the apparent central distribution volume, 344 L (54%) for the apparent peripheral distribution volume, and 1.43 L/h for the apparent distribution clearance. These values were consistent with the pharmacokinetic results described in Thai patients. No significant covariate was found for clearance. Body weight explained the inter-individual variability of the apparent central and peripheral distribution volumes. The PCR-adjusted efficacy of the treatment was 100%. Conclusions: The lack of significant covariate explaining the inter-individual variability of mefloquine clearance, combined with the excellent efficacy, supports the use of the standard 200/400 mg of artesunate-mefloquine fixed-dose combination in Indian patients with uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria.
    Malaria Journal 05/2014; 13(1):187. DOI:10.1186/1475-2875-13-187 · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) as first-line treatment for uncomplicated malaria. Sudan revised its malaria treatment policy accordingly in 2004. However, eight years after ACTs were introduced in Sudan the patterns of ACT prescribing practices among health care providers remain unclear. We systematically analyzed use of ACTs in a large number of primary health facilities and we discuss the public health implications of our findings. Methods: This cross-sectional study was based on WHO’s guidance for investigating drug use in health facilities. Data were collected from 40 randomly selected primary health centers in five localities in Gezira State, Sudan. The primary outcome of the study was the proportion of patients who were adequately managed according to Sudan’s recommended malaria treatment guidelines. Twelve drug-use indicators were used to assess key ACT prescribing practices. Results: One thousand and two hundred patients diagnosed with uncomplicated malaria were recruited into the study. ACT was prescribed for 88.6%patients and artemether injections were (incorrectly) prescribed in 9.5% of cases. Only 40.9% of patients in the study were correctly diagnosed and 26.9% were adequately managed according to the nationally recommended treatment guidelines. Incorrect prescribing activities included failure to use generic medicine names (88.2%), incorrect dosage (27.7%), and unexplained antibiotic co-prescription (24.2%). Dispensing practices were also poor, with labeling practices inadequate (97.1%) and insufficient information given to patients about their prescribed treatment (50.5%). Conclusion: Irrational malaria treatment practices are common in Sudan. This has important public health implications since failure to adhere to nationally recommended guidelines could play a role in the future development of drug resistance. As such, identifying ways to improve the anti-malarial prescribing practices of heath workers in Sudan may be a priority. Keywords: Malaria, Artemisinin-based combination therapy, Drug resistance, Sudan, Sub-Saharan Africa
    03/2015; 16(1). DOI:10.1186/s40360-015-0002-4