April 6, 2010, 8:28 a.m.
Lancet Infectious Diseases Comments Examine Use Of Quinine To Treat Malaria
A Lancet Infectious Diseases comment presents an argument for the continued use of quinine monotherapy to treat malaria in Africa. Benefits of the therapy include its known efficacy, known long-term safety, low cost and availability compared to artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). Though ACT "is the safest treatment for malaria, … quinine remains a good asset in the treatment of malaria. The risks, benefits, and acceptance of dropping quinine should be addressed with health-care workers in Africa and should not be swept away in the euphoria of artemisinin-based combination therapy development," the authors conclude (Barennes/Srour/Pussard, March 2010). A related Lancet Infectious Diseases comment calls for additional studies to evaluate the effectiveness of "combination therapies using quinine for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria in pregnancy" (Chico/Chandramohan, March 2010).