Artemisinins were discovered to be highly effective antimalarial drugs shortly after the isolation of the parent artemisinin in 1971 in China. These compounds combine potent, rapid antimalarial activity with a wide therapeutic index and an absence of clinically important resistance. Artemisinin containing regimens meet the urgent need to find effective treatments for multidrug resistant malaria and have recently been advocated for widespread deployment. Comparative trials of artesunate and quinine for severe malaria are in progress to see if the persistently high mortality of this condition can be reduced.
- multidrug resistant
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Conflicts of interest: none declared.
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