Artemether and lumefantrine are anti-malaria medications. They work by interfering with the growth of parasites in the red blood cells of the human body. Malaria is caused by parasites that enter the body through the bite of a mosquito. Malaria is common in areas such as Africa, South America, and Southern Asia.
Artemether and lumefantrine (AL) is a combination medicine used to treat uncomplicated malaria. This medication is used only to treat malaria. Do not use artemether and lumefantrine to prevent malaria.
However, AL has a complex treatment regimen. Due to the issues of adherence to treatment with AL by adult patients and real-life effectiveness in resource-poor settings will be critical in determining its useful therapeutic life, especially in Africa, where the major burden of malaria is felt.
Before taking artemether and lumefantrine
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to artemether and lumefantrine and any other medications. Also if any of the ingredients in artemether and lumefantrine tablets.
- Tell your doctor if you are taking carbamazepine, phenytoin, rifampin. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take artemether and lumefantrine if you are taking one or more of these medications.
- Also, inform your doctor about all other anti-malaria medications you have used within the past 30 days.
- It is not certain whether artemether and lumefantrine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
- It is not certain whether artemether and lumefantrine passes into breast milk. Or if it could affect the nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. Artemether and lumefantrine should not be given to a child who weighs less than 11 pounds.
How should I take artemether and lumefantrine?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Take artemether and lumefantrine with food or milk. The tablet may be crushed and mixed with 1 or 2 teaspoons of water for easier swallowing. You may also mix a crushed tablet with infant formula when giving this medication to a child. Start eating normally as soon as possible to help your body better absorb the medication.
If you vomit within 1 hour after taking this medication, take another dose. If your vomiting continues or you cannot eat, call your doctor.
Artemether and lumefantrine is usually given as a total of 6 doses over a period of 3 days. Carefully follow your doctor’s instructions about how many tablets to take per dose. Artemether and lumefantrine doses are based on weight and age. The usual doses are as follows, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
For people over 16 years old who weigh at least 77 pounds take:
- Four (4) tablets as an initial dose.
- 4 more tablets 8 hours later.
- 4 tablets in the morning and 4 tablets in the evening for the next 2 days.
For children younger than 16 years old who weigh between 55 and 77 pounds take:
- Three (3) tablets as an initial dose.
- 3 more tablets 8 hours later.
- 3 tablets in the morning and 3 tablets in the evening for the next 2 days.
For children younger than 16 years old who weigh between 33 and 55 pounds take:
- Take two (2) tablets as an initial dose.
- 2 more tablets 8 hours later.
- 2 tablets in the morning and 2 tablets in the evening for the next 2 days.
For children younger than 16 years old who weigh between 11 and 33 pounds take:
- Take one (1) tablet as an initial dose.
- And take a second tablet 8 hours later.
- Take 1 tablet in the morning and 1 tablet in the evening for the next 2 days.
No medication is 100% effective in treating malaria. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if you have a fever, chills, headache, or muscle pain. Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Artemether and lumefantrine side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction such as hives, fast heart rate, difficult breathing swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- muscle or joint pain
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- loss of appetite
- Store at room temperature away from light and moisture.
- Do not store in bathroom.
- Keep all medications away from children and pets.
- Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so.
- Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed.
- Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.