Similar efficacy and safety of artemether-lumefantrine (Coartem®) in African infants and children with uncomplicated falciparum malaria across different body weight ranges

16 Dec 2011

Quique Bassat, Raquel González, Sónia Machevo, Alain Nahum, John Lyimo, Hamma Maiga, Andreas Mårtensson, Mahfudh Bashraheil, Peter Ouma, David Ubben, Verena Walter, Obiyo Nwaiwu, Chemtai Kipkeu, Gilbert Lefèvre, Bernhards Ogutu and Clara Menéndez

Malaria Journal

DOI: 10.1186/1475-2875-10-369



Artemisinin-based combination therapy, including artemether-lumefantrine (AL), is currently recommended for the treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria. The objectives of the current analysis were to compare the efficacy and safety of AL across different body weight ranges in African children, and to examine the age and body weight relationship in this population.


Efficacy, safety and pharmacokinetic data from a randomized, investigator-blinded, multicentre trial of AL for treatment of acute uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria in infants and children in Africa were analysed according to body weight group.


The trial included 899 patients (intent-to-treat population 886). The modified intent-to-treat (ITT) population (n=812) comprised 143 children 5 to <10kg, 334 children 10 to <15kg, 277 children 15 to <25kg, and 58 children 25 to <35kg. The 28-day PCR cure rate, the primary endpoint, was comparable across all four body weight groups (97.2%, 98.9%, 97.8% and 98.3%, respectively). There were no clinically relevant differences in safety or tolerability between body weight groups. In the three AL body weight dosing groups (5 to <15kg, 15 to <25kg and 25 to <35kg), 80% of patients were aged 10-50 months, 46-100 months and 90-147 months, respectively.


Efficacy of AL in uncomplicated falciparum malaria is similar across body weight dosing groups as currently recommended in the label with no clinically relevant differences in safety or tolerability. AL dosing based on body weight remains advisable.

The full article can be viewed on the Malaria Journal website.