Objective: To compare artemether and quinine as treatment for cerebral malaria in hospitalized adult patients
Patients and Methods: Fifty cases of cerebral malaria who fulfilled the diagnostic criteria of WHO were placed at random into two groups of 25 patients in each group. These groups were named Group A and group B. Group A patients were treated with Quinine infusion and group B patients were treated with Artemether intramuscularly. Clinical features, temperature and laboratory detection of Falciparum were noted every twelve hours. Side effects were also noted and 12 hourly blood sugar was taken from all patients.
Results: In group A, twenty (80%) patients recovered completely and five (20%) died, while in group B, 21 (84%) patients recovered and four (16%) died. Only one patient (4%) in quinine group developed hypoglycemia at 12 hours. Mean disappearance time of Plasmodium from the blood of Group A was 36 hours and in group B, it as 24 hours. Mean time for regaining full consciousness with orientation in time space and person and no neurological deficit was 36 hours in both groups.
Conclusion: Quinine and artemether are equally effective in cerebral malaria. The side effects with Quinine seem to be negligible in this study. (Rawal Med J 2005;30:62-64).
Key words: Cerebral malaria, artemether, quinine