<p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Artemether/lumefantrine (AL) has been adopted as the treatment of choice for uncomplicated malaria in Kenya and other countries in the region. Six-dose artemether/lumefantrine tablets are highly effective and safe for the treatment of infants and children weighing between five and 25 kg with uncomplicated <it>Plasmodium falciparum </it>malaria. However, oral paediatric formulations are urgently needed, as the tablets are difficult to administer to young children, who cannot swallow whole tablets or tolerate the bitter taste of the crushed tablets.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>A randomized, controlled, open-label trial was conducted comparing day 28 PCR corrected cure-rates in 245 children aged 6–59 months, treated over three days with either six-dose of artemether/lumefantrine tablets (Coartem<sup>®</sup>) or three-dose of artemether/lumefantrine suspension (Co-artesiane<sup>®</sup>) for uncomplicated falciparum malaria in western Kenya. The children were followed-up with clinical, parasitological and haematological evaluations over 28 days.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Ninety three percent (124/133) and 90% (121/134) children in the AL tablets and AL suspension arms respectively completed followed up. A per protocol analysis revealed a PCR-corrected parasitological cure rate of 96.0% at Day 28 in the AL tablets group and 93.4% in the AL suspension group, p = 0.40. Both drugs effectively cleared gametocytes and were well tolerated, with no difference in the overall incidence of adverse events.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>The once daily three-dose of artemether-lumefantrine suspension (Co-artesiane<sup>®</sup>) was not superior to six-dose artemether-lumefantrine tablets (Coartem<sup>®</sup>) for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria in children below five years of age in western Kenya.</p> <p>Trial registration</p> <p>ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00529867</p
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