Artemether

By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Generic Name: Artemether Brand Name(s): Artemether.

Uses

What is artemether/ lumefantrine used for?

Artemether/ lumefantrine is an antimalarial agent. It is commonly used for treating certain types of malaria in adults and children who weigh at least 5 kg.

It may also be used for other conditions; ask your doctor for more information.

How should I take artemether/ lumefantrine?

Use artemether/lumefantrine as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

Take artemether/lumefantrine by mouth with food.

If you are unable to swallow the tablet, artemether/lumefantrine may be crushed and mixed with a small amount of water (1 or 2 teaspoons) in a clean container. Swallow the mixture immediately; then rinse the container with more water and swallow to be sure you receive the entire dose.

Follow with food or drink (e.g., milk, formula, pudding, broth, porridge).

Continue to take artemether/lumefantrine even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.

How do I store artemether/ lumefantrine?

Artemether/lumefantrine is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store artemether/lumefantrine in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of artemether/lumefantrine that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush artemether/lumefantrine down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using artemether/ lumefantrine?

Before using artemether/ lumefantrine, tell your doctor if:

  • You are allergic to any ingredient in artemether/lumefantrine.
  • You have taken or will be taking halofantrine within 30 days before or after using artemether/lumefantrine.
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
  • You are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement.
  • You have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances.
  • You are unable to eat food while taking artemether/lumefantrine.
  • You are taking medicine to treat depression or HIV infection.
  • You are taking or have recently taken other medicines used to treat malaria.
  • You vomit within 1 hour after taking artemether/lumefantrine, take another dose.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

Pregnancy

If you become pregnant while taking artemether/lumefantrine, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using artemether/lumefantrine while you are pregnant.

Breastfeeding

It is not known if artemether/lumefantrine is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breastfeeding while you use artemether/lumefantrine, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Side effects

What side effects can occur from artemether/ lumefantrine?

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:

  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Joint and muscle pain and stiffness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mild stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Tiredness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur:

  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • Tightness in the chest or throat
  • Trouble speaking
  • Swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue
  • Unusual hoarseness
  • Agitation
  • Dark urine
  • Decreased coordination
  • Fainting
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Fever, chills, or persistent sore throat
  • Mood swings
  • Pale skin
  • Pale stools
  • Severe or persistent headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Stomach pain
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with artemether/ lumefantrine?

Artemether/lumefantrine may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Products may interact with this drug, including:

  • Amitriptyline
  • Antiarrhythmics (e.g., amiodarone, disopyramide, flecainide, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol)
  • Antimalaria medicines (e.g., halofantrine, quinine)
  • Antipsychotics (e.g., pimozide, ziprasidone)
  • Azole antifungals (e.g., fluconazole, ketoconazole)
  • Clomipramine
  • Fluoroquinolone antibiotics (e.g., ciprofloxacin)
  • Imipramine
  • Macrolide antibiotics (e.g., clarithromycin)
  • Carbamazepine
  • Efavirenz
  • Enzalutamide
  • Hydantoins (e.g., phenytoin)
  • Mefloquine
  • Nevirapine
  • Phenobarbital
  • Primidone
  • Rifamycins (e.g., rifampin)
  • St. John’s wort
  • Hormonal birth control (e.g., birth control pills)

Does food or alcohol interact with artemether/ lumefantrine?

Artemether/ lumefantrine may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you use artemether/lumefantrine.

What health conditions may interact with artemether/ lumefantrine?

Artemether/lumefantrine may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

These health conditions are:

  • Heart problems (e.g., slow or irregular heartbeat)
  • A recent heart attack
  • A history of electrolyte problems (e.g., low blood potassium or magnesium levels)
  • Liver or kidney problems
  • An infection or a history of mental or mood problems (e.g., depression)
  • Low blood potassium
  • Magnesium levels
  • A history of QT prolongation or sudden death

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using artemether/ lumefantrine.

What is the dose of artemether/ lumefantrine for an adult?

Malaria

Less than 35 kg: the recommended dose is usual pediatric dose.

35 kg or more: 4 tablets as single initial dose, followed by 4 tablets after 8 hours, and then 4 tablets twice a day (morning and evening) for the following 2 days (total course: 24 tablets).

What is the dose of artemether/ lumefantrine for a child?

Malaria

5 kg to less than 15 kg: 1 tablet as single initial dose, followed by 1 tablet after 8 hours, and then 1 tablet twice a day (morning and evening) for the following 2 days (total course: 6 tablets).

15 kg to less than 25 kg: 2 tablets as single initial dose, followed by 2 tablets after 8 hours, and then 2 tablets twice a day (morning and evening) for the following 2 days (total course: 12 tablets).

25 kg to less than 35 kg: 3 tablets as single initial dose, followed by 3 tablets after 8 hours, and then 3 tablets twice a day (morning and evening) for the following 2 days (total course: 18 tablets).

35 kg or more: 4 tablets as single initial dose, followed by 4 tablets after 8 hours, and then 4 tablets twice a day (morning and evening) for the following 2 days (total course: 24 tablets).

How is artemether/ lumefantrine available?

Artemether/ Lumefantrine is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Coartem tablet, 20 mg of artemether and 120 mg lumefantrine

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of artemether/lumefantrine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: February 17, 2017 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019

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