Artesunate is a water-soluble hemisuccinate derivative of artemisinin. It is unstable in neutral solution and the injectable formulation must be prepared immediately before use in 5% (w/v) sodium bicarbonate solution to produce the salt sodium artesunate. After parenteral administration, it is rapidly hydrolysed to the active metabolite dihydroartemisinin. The oral formulation is probably hydrolysed completely before entering the systemic circulation. Artesunate has been reported to clear fever in patients with severe falciparum malaria 16-25 hours after parenteral administration.
Artesunate is used to treat chloroquine resistant malaria and complicated malaria like cerebral malaria.
• orally: treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria in areas where there is evidence of chloroquine, pyrimethamine/sulfadoxine, mefloquine and quinine resistance. It should always be administered together with mefloquine in full therapeutic dose.
• parenterally: treatment of severe falciparum malaria in areas where there is evidence of quinine resistance. Radical cure is then effected with a full course of an effective oral antimalarial.
How it works
Artesunate belongs to class of medications called anti-malarial. It acts by producing free radicals which kills the malarial parasite (plasmodium).
How to take artesunate 50 mg tablets
Always take artesunate tablets exactly as your doctor or health care provider has told you. Artesunate 50 mg tablets are usually taken in combination with another medicine to treat malaria. Artemisinin-based combination therapy (act) in combination therapy in adults and children, artesunate should be given at 4 mg/kg body weight once daily for three days (range 2-10 mg/kg; 200 mg per day in adults). Artesunate dosing scheme in combination therapy (treatment duration 3 days) age no of tablets per day (dose) 1-6 years 1 tablet once daily (50 mg/day) 7-13 years 2 tablets once daily (100 mg/day) older than13 years 4 tablets once daily (200 mg/day)
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