How is malaria treated today?
Several different medications exist which are used for the treatment of malaria. The exact drug and method of treatment depends somewhat on the type of malaria the patient is infected with.
In most cases of non-complicated (i.e. when the patient is stable and conscious) malaria, the World Health Organisation recommends an orally-administered (in the form of solid pills) artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), such as Coartem (a combination of artemether and lumefantrine). Other types of medication include atovaquone-proguanil (Malarone) and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (Fansidar). In some locations, where chloroquine-resistance is not a problem, chloroquine can also be used as a treatment. For complicated malaria, where the patient is in a more severe state, intravenously administered quinine is usually the first-line treatment.
If diagnosed early and the patient is given appropriate medication, virtually all cases of uncomplicated malaria can be effectively treated.