Question: Can I take anti malaria to treat a diagnosed malaria disease at 39 weeks of pregnancy without it affecting my estimated delivery date (EDD).
Answer: There is little direct evidence related to the impact of antimalarial medication on delivery date during third trimester infections with malaria. However, as the malaria parasite can pass across the placenta and infect the unborn baby (resulting, in some cases, with the baby being born with malaria – this is known as congenital malaria), it is very important that you are treated promptly. The World Health Organization recommends that all women in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy who are infected with malaria be treated with an artemisinin-based combination therapy; commonly available examples include Coartem (a combination of artemether and lumefantrine) and ASAQ Winthrop (artesunate and amodiaquine). A study published in 2016 suggested that combinations of dihydroartemisinin and piperaquine (sold under the brand names DuoCotecxin, Artekin, Eurartesim, among others) may be the most effective, especially in high transmission settings, as the inclusion of piperaquine allows for a longer preventive impact after the initial malaria infection has been treated, preventing reinfection.
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