Many malaria patients are given the medicament piperakin. But children are often are given the medicament in too small amounts. Knowledge about how piperakin is transformed in the body has so far been very limited. A study from Sahlgrenska Accademy in Sweden based on 100 malaria patients in Northern Thailand shows that children transform the medicament in a different way than adult.
“To be completely sure we need to do even more comprehensive studies, but if the results can be confirmed, children need a bigger dosage of piperakin”, says pharmacist Joel Tärning. Children who do not receive the sufficient amount of piperakin might not recover from the disease. If the Medicament is held in the body for a long time, there is even a risk of increasing the process of resistance.
“In South East Asia and other parts of the world the parasites have become resistant to many medicaments”, says Joel Tärning. “In these areas we give piperakin together with other medicaments”.
The study also presents a new and simpler method of analysing which medicament to use. With the new method it is not longer necessary to take blood test on the patients. A urine sample is sufficient. “This reduces the risk of transmission and infections which otherwise can be a problem with blood tests in villages in tropic areas” says Joel Tärning.
Malaria is one of the most common and most dangerous diseases in the world. Around 500 million people suffer from Malaria every year. Malaria is found in all tropical areas of the world but most incidents occur in Africa.