Efficacy and safety of artesunate plus amodiaquine in routine use for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria in Casamance, southern Sénégal
Brasseur P., Agnamey P., Gaye O., Vaillant M., Taylor WRJ., Olliaro PL.
Abstract Background There are no data on the long term use of an artemisinin combination treatment in moderate or high transmission areas of Africa. Methods and findings Artesunate plus amodiaquine (AS+AQ) was used to treat slide-proven Plasmodium falciparum-infected patients of all ages in the Oussouye district, Casamance, Senegal, over a period of six years (2000 to 2005). Efficacy, by Kaplan Meier survival analysis (n = 966), and safety (adverse event rates, n = 752) were determined over 28 days. A weight-based dosing regimen was used for the loose tablets during 2000–2003 (n = 731) and a commercially available co-blister was used during 2004–2005 (n = 235). Annual crude (non PCR corrected) rates remained stable over the study period [range 88.5–96.7%; overall 94.6 (95% CI 92.9–95.9)]. Nine co-blister treated patients (0.9%) withdrew because of drug-related adverse events; seven had gastrointestinal complaints of whom two were hospitalized for vomiting. By Day 28, the mean total bilirubin (n = 72), AST (n = 94) and ALT (n = 95) values decreased. Three patients had Day 28 AST/ALT values > 40 < 200 IU/L. Changes in white cell counts were unremarkable (n = 87). Conclusion AS+AQ in combination was highly efficacious and well-tolerated in this area and justifies the decision to use it as first line treatment. Long-term monitoring of safety and efficacy should continue.