|Shelf life||2 YEARS|
α, β-Arteether is an ethyl ether derivative of artemisinin which is an efficient schizontocidal drug in mild falciparum malaria. The present study reports the efficacy of the drug in severe falciparum malaria. Fifty patients with severe falciparum malaria were given intramuscular arteether, 150 mg, once daily on 3 consecutive days. The median fever clearance time was 72 h (range 12–120 h) and the median parasite clearance time was 2 d (range 1–4 d). Rapid recovery from coma was observed in cerebral malaria patients (after a median of 18 h, range 6–72 h). The recovery from other complications was also faster and complete. Two patients died; both had cerebral malaria and haemolytic jaundice, one had respiratory distress needing ventilatory support and the other had severe anaemia. Recrudescence within 28 d was observed in 7 patients. Drug toxicity or significant side effects were not noticed in any patient.