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ARTICLE
Year : 2009  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 252-257

Potential toxicity of chlorpheniramine plus chloroquine for the treatment of childhood malaria


Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
A D Adedapo
Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 19803020

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OBJECTIVES: To compare the adverse effects of two regimens of chlorpheniramine plus chloroquine (CP+CQ) in children who live in a country where chloroquine resistant malaria is endemic. METHODS: 99 children with acute uncomplicated malaria were randomised into two treatment groups. Group I received high dose chlorpheniramine (6 mg +12 mg/day for 7 days in children = 5 years; 8 mg + 18 mg/day for 7 days in those >5 years) plus chloroquine 10 mg/kg daily for 3 days. Group II received a 50% higher dose of chlorpheniramine plus chloroquine 10 mg/kg daily for 3 days. Outcome measures were vital signs, clinical response and parasite clearance on days 0-7 and day 14. RESULTS: Parasite clearance, fever clearance and cure rate were comparable for the two groups. Drowsiness occurred in 66.7% of high dose and 86.3% of higher dose CP+CQ subjects (p = 0.05). Compared to children treated with high dose, those treated with higher dose CP+CQ had significantly lower respiratory rates on day 2 (p = 0.001), day 6 (p = 0.015), and on day 14 (p = 0.003). CONCLUSION: The higher rates of drowsiness and lower respiratory rates in children treated with higher dose CP+CQ calls for caution in the clinical application of the higher dose combination. The higher dose has no additional benefit and may in fact be dangerous.


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