Rapid absorption and clinical effectiveness of intragastric mefloquine in the treatment of cerebral malaria in African children.
Di Perri G., Olliaro P., Ward S., Allegranzi B., Bonora S., Concia E.
To obviate the lack of injectable quinine in a hospital in rural Burundi, mefloquine, only available as an oral formulation, was administered (25 mg/kg bodyweight) as a single dose by nasogastric tube to four small children with cerebral malaria. All patients recovered uneventfully after a mean coma duration of 20.5 h. Mefloquine was rapidly absorbed and therapeutic serum concentrations were achieved within a few hours in all subjects, with parasite reduction ratios after 48 h within the expected range for drug-sensitive parasites. These findings suggest that intragastric mefloquine deserves consideration whenever parenteral drugs are not available for the treatment of cerebral malaria.