Author(s): Falade C, Manyando C
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Abstract This article reviews the comprehensive data on the safety and tolerability from over 6,300 patients who have taken artemether/lumefantrine (Coartem) as part of Novartis-sponsored or independently-sponsored clinical trials. The majority of the reported adverse events seen in these studies are mild or moderate in severity and tend to affect the gastrointestinal or nervous systems. These adverse events, which are common in both adults and children, are also typical of symptoms of malaria or concomitant infections present in these patients. The wealth of safety data on artemether/lumefantrine has not identified any neurological, cardiac or haematological safety concerns. In addition, repeated administration is not associated with an increased risk of adverse drug reactions including neurological adverse events. This finding is especially relevant for children from regions with high malaria transmission rates who often receive many courses of anti-malarial medications during their lifetime. Data are also available to show that there were no clinically relevant differences in pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to artemether/lumefantrine compared with sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine during pregnancy. The six-dose regimen of artemether/lumefantrine is therefore well tolerated in a wide range of patient populations. In addition, post-marketing experience, based on the delivery of 250 million treatments as of July 2009, has not identified any new safety concerns for artemether/lumefantrine apart from hypersensitivity and allergies, known class effects of artemisinin derivatives.
This article was published in Malar J
and referenced in Clinical Pharmacology & Biopharmaceutics