Meds and you

27 September 2013

Lumefantrine

Lumefantrine is an antimalarial. Antimalarials are drugs that prevent or treat malaria.

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In South Africa lumefantrine is only available in combination with artemether (Coartem tablets (Nappi code: 876089-007)).

General information

Lumefantrine is an antimalarial. Antimalarials are drugs that prevent or treat malaria.

In South Africa lumefantrine is registered for the treatment of uncomplicated cases of plasmodium falciparum malaria.

Lumefantrine is used only to treat malaria. Do not use this medication to prevent malaria. For it to be effective, the prescribed course needs to be completed.

It should be noted that because this drug may cause dizziness, light-headedness and/or sedation, driving and any hazardous tasks should be avoided until you know how this medication affects you.

How does lumefantrine work?

Malaria is caused by a parasite carried by mosquitoes. When bitten by an infected mosquito, the malaria parasite is passed into the human body. Once inside your body, it multiplies and causes malaria. The malaria parasite digests a protein found in blood called haemoglobin, and divides it into two parts - haem and globin. Haem is toxic to the parasite and the parasite converts the haem into a non-toxic compound to protect itself. Lumefantrine interferes with the parasite's ability to produce this non-toxic compound, causing the level of toxic haem to rise, which kills the parasite.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: schedule 4

Available as: lumefantrine is available as tablets (in combination with artemether).

What does it do? Lumefantrine kills the parasite responsible for causing malaria

Overdose risk: medium

Dependence risk: low

Is lumefantrine available on prescription only? yes

User information

Dietary advice: take lumefantrine with meals or fluids high in fats (such as milk)

Special precautions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

- you have liver disease

- you have a kidney disorder

- you have a heart disease

- you are pregnant, Aor if you are breastfeeding

Pregnancy: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before using this drug, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.

Breastfeeding: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before use.

Porphyria: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your condition. Consult your doctor before use.

The elderly: caution is advised in the elderly as side effects are more likely to occur.

Driving and hazardous work: caution is advised as use of this medication may lead to dizziness, light-headedness and/or sedation. Avoid such activities until you know how this medication affects you.

Alcohol: avoid concomitant use of alcohol with this medication.

Possible side effects

Side effect Frequency
Consult your doctor

Common Rare Only if severe In all cases
Dizziness x
x
Appetite loss x
x
Diarrhea x
x
Headache x
x
Nausea x
x
Muscle Pain
x x
Fatigue
x x
Cough
x x
Palpitations
x
x
Muscle Spasm
x
x
Movement disorder
x
x

Interactions

Drug interactions

Tricyclic antidepressants (Amitriptyline) Increased risk of side effects related to these antidepressants
Metoprolol Increased risk of metoprolol related side effects
Amiodarone Increased risk of abnormal heart rhythms
Sotalol Increased risk of abnormal heart rhythms
Fluoxetine Increased risk of abnormal heart rhythms
Amitriptyline Increased risk of abnormal heart rhythms
Chlorpromazine Increased risk of abnormal heart rhythms
Haloperidol Increased risk of abnormal heart rhythms
Quinine Increased risk of abnormal heart rhythms
Terfenadine Increased risk of abnormal heart rhythms
Erythromycin Increased risk of abnormal heart rhythms
Ketoconazole Increased risk of abnormal heart rhythms
Moxifloxacin Increased risk of abnormal heart rhythms

Overdose action

A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose, seek emergency medical attention.

This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only.

Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.

 
 

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