Guidance lists new first-line treatment for severe malaria in the U.S.

(HealthDay)—The drug artesunate—the World Health Organization-recommended first-line treatment for severe malaria—will become the first-line treatment for severe malaria in the United States, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says in a new guidance to health care providers.

The new guidance marks a change in U.S. treatment protocol that became necessary after the only U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved intravenous (IV) antimalarial drug in the United States—quinidine—was discontinued by the maker.

Currently, artesunate is not FDA approved or commercially available in the United States, so the CDC will use a special FDA regulatory measure to ensure that IV artesunate is available for the treatment of severe malaria.

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