Wiley Logo Quinine no longer may be the ultimate drug for treating severe malaria. If Cochrane experts are to be believed, then the antimalarial drug artesunate is more effective at preventing death in patients with severe malaria than quinine. The new antimalarial drug is apparently derived from herbs used in Chinese medicine.

In this study, experts noted that intake of artesunate declines the threat of death by 39 percent in adults and 24 percent among children as compared to quinine. Among adults, deaths caused by severe malaria were possibly reduced from 241 per 1000 with quinine to 147 with artesunate. In kids, on the hand, deaths were purportedly decreased from 108 per 1000 with quinine to 83 with artesunate.

Peter Olumese of the WHO’s Global Malaria Programme, added, “There is now enough evidence to be confident of these results in adults and children. Intravenous artesunate is now being recommended as the treatment of choice for adults and children with severe malaria anywhere in the world.”

However, more children given artesunate were presumably diagnosed with neurological problems than those subjected to quinine. The World Health Organization (WHO) reportedly prescribed artesunate as the preferred treatment for adults severe malaria patients in 2006.

The study findings may have great importance in the medical section.