All About Antimalarial Drugs

Friday, 30/09/2016

In developing countries of Africa and Asia, Malaria is a hugely widespread infection that has been burdening lives of people due to the medical costs. The cases of the disease have been spiralling in India over the past few years.

Malaria is a dangerous mosquito-borne infection caused by the parasites transferred to humans through the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito.

Antimalarial Medications
● Research is currently in process to develop proper medications for malaria. Certain medications have already been developed. These are called Antimalarial medications. Antimalarial medications, also known as Antimalarial or Antimalarial drugs, are designed as a remedy for malaria.
● Such drugs may be used for the treatment of the Malaria infection.
● People who visit a malaria-endemic region may also use these drugs.

Types of drugs used for treatment

There are 5 types of drugs used to treat Malaria infection. They are mentioned as follows:

1. Quinine and related agents
• The history of Quinine begins from Peru. The history also relates with the discovery of the Cinchona tree, the use of its bark and its use for treating malaria infection. It is a Cinchona Alkaloid that acts as a blood schizonticidal for Plasmodium Vivax, the parasites that transfer malaria infection.
• It is has been a persistently significant drug against Malaria for over almost 400 years.
• It is a basic compound and is presented as a salt. It is quickly absorbed, reaching the peak concentrations within 1-3 hours. It is distributed throughout the body fluids and is highly protein bound.
• It crosses the placental barrier and is also seen in cerebral spinal fluid. The excretion is fast; 80% of the drug is excreted while the 20% is excreted unchanged by the kidney.
The side effects of Quinine are substantial. Its use might lead to a temporary impairment of hearing, headaches, nausea among others. Certain dangerous side effects are vomiting, diarrhoea, temporary loss of vision, etc.

2. Chloroquine
• Chloroquine is one of the most widely used antimalarial drugs.
• It is the least expensive and safest drug for Malaria infection.
• It is mostly used in the sub-Saharan African countries. It also used to treat amoeba infections.
• It is alkaline in nature. Though this drug is useful for Malaria, it also has certain side effects.
This drug can damage the retina of the eye. It can also make the visions blurred. Hearing impairment, nausea, fever, stomach pain etc are also some of the side effects of this drug.

3. Amodiaquine
Amodiaquine is a compound related to Chloroquine and is used as an antimalarial drug. It is not marketed in the United States but is widely available in Africa.

4. Mefloquine
Mefloquine is another drug used as an antimalarial.
• It can be used only for mild and moderate Malaria. It is taken through the mouth.
• This drug was developed by the United States Army in the 1970s and was brought in use in the 1980s. It is one of the most important drugs for Malaria.
Though it is one of the important antimalarial drugs, it also has several side effects. The common side effects include vomiting, diarrhoea, headaches, etc. Some of the dangerous side effects include depression, anxiety, etc.

5. Primaquine
Primaquine is another drug used as an antimalarial. It was first developed in the 1940s. It helps in clearing the Malaria infection from the liver. Just like the other drugs, Primaquine also has certain side effects that include headaches, visual damage, etc.

Malaria is a dangerous infection but when the adequate medication is taken, it can surely be cured. As a precaution, it is important to use mosquito repellents and mosquito nets.
Stagnant water should be drained and insecticides should be sprayed. The garbage should be cleaned so that the mosquitoes don’t breed in your surroundings.