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<jats:title>ABSTRACT</jats:title> <jats:p>Artemether-lumefantrine antimalarial efficacy in pregnancy could be compromised by reduced drug exposure. Population-based simulations suggested that therapeutic efficacy would be improved if the treatment duration was increased. We assessed the efficacy, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of an extended 5-day regimen of artemether-lumefantrine compared to the standard 3-day treatment in 48 pregnant women and 48 nonpregnant women with uncomplicated falciparum malaria in an open-label, randomized clinical trial. Babies were assessed at birth and 1, 3, 6, and 12 months. Nonlinear mixed-effects modeling was used to characterize the plasma concentration-time profiles of artemether and lumefantrine and their metabolites. Both regimens were highly efficacious (100% PCR-corrected cure rates) and well tolerated. Babies followed up to 1 year had normal development. Parasite clearance half-lives were longer in pregnant women (median [range], 3.30 h [1.39 to 7.83 h]) than in nonpregnant women (2.43 h [1.05 to 6.00 h]) (<jats:italic>P</jats:italic>=0.005). Pregnant women had lower exposures to artemether and dihydroartemisinin than nonpregnant women, resulting in 1.2% decreased exposure for each additional week of gestational age. By term, these exposures were reduced by 48% compared to nonpregnant patients. The overall exposure to lumefantrine was improved with the extended regimen, with no significant differences in exposures to lumefantrine or desbutyl-lumefantrine between pregnant and nonpregnant women. The extended artemether-lumefantrine regimen was well tolerated and safe and increased the overall antimalarial drug exposure and so could be a promising treatment option in pregnancy in areas with lower rates of malaria transmission and/or emerging drug resistance. (This study has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov under identifier NCT01916954.)</jats:p>

Original publication

DOI

10.1128/aac.01140-19

Type

Journal

Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy

Publisher

American Society for Microbiology

Publication Date

09/12/2019

Volume

64