A malaria infection, particularly with P. falciparum, is a medical emergency in the United States and the infected person is hospitalized. In most cases, malaria can be effectively treated with one or more of the following medications:
Combination of sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine (Fansidar)
Combination of atovaquone and proguanil (Malarone)
Doxycycline (Doryx, Vibramycin) or tetracycline (Achromycin V, Tetracap)
Another class of antimalarial drugs, often prescribed in Asia, is derived from artemisinin, a Chinese sweet wormwood extract. Artesunate is an example of an artemisinin derivative.
Which drug you take and the length of treatment depends on the type of malaria, where you were infected, your age and how sick you were when treatment began. Drugs are given either orally or intravenously, depending on the severity of illness. After treatment, you may feel very weak and tired.
It may take a few weeks before you recover completely.
The history of antimalarial medicine has been marked by a constant struggle between evolving drug-resistant parasites and the search for new drug formulations. In certain parts of the world, for instance, resistance to chloroquine has rendered the drug ineffective. Several global programs have been initiated to fight malaria, emphasizing multiple strategies such as medical treatment and prevention, mosquito control, vaccine research and genetic research.
Scientists have succeeded in mapping out the genetic makeup of both P. falciparum and the anopheles mosquito. With these findings, researchers hope to identify drugs that effectively inhibit the life cycle of the parasite and stop infection, as well as better ways to control the mosquito population and prevent spread of the disease.
Prevention is the key to malaria prevention
Prevention of malaria
Malaria is a serious disease, which in the worst case may be fatal.