Pharmacokinetics and Efficacy of Piperaquine and Chloroquine in Melanesian Children with Uncomplicated Malaria

H. Karunajeewa, Kenneth Ilett, I. Mueller, P. Siba, I. Law, M. Page-Sharp, E. Lin, J. Lammey, K.T. Batty, Timothy Davis

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76 Citations (Scopus)


The disposition of chloroquine (CQ) and the related 4-aminoquinoline, piperaquine (PQ), were compared in Papua New Guinean children with uncomplicated malaria. Twenty-two children were randomized to 3 days of PQ phosphate at 20 mg/kg/day (12 mg of PQ base/kg/day) coformulated with dihydroartemisinin (DHA-PQ), and twenty children were randomized to 3 days of CQ at 10 mg base/kg/day with a single dose of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (CQ-SP). After a 42-day intensive sampling protocol, PQ, CQ, and its active metabolite monodesethyl-chloroquine (DECQ) were assayed in plasma by using high-performance liquid chromatography. A two-compartment model with first-order absorption was fitted to the PQ and CQ data. There were no significant differences in age, gender, body weight, or admission parasitemia between the two groups. The PCR-corrected 42-day adequate clinical and parasitological responses were 100% for DHA-PQ and 94% for CQ-SP, but P. falciparum reinfections during follow-up were common (33 and 18%, respectively). For PQ, the median volume of distribution at steady state, allowing for bioavailability (Vss/F), was 431 liters/kg (interquartile range [IQR], 283 to 588 liters/kg), the median clearance (CL/F) was 0.85 liters/h/kg (IQR, 0.67 to 1.06 liters/h/kg), the median distribution half-life (t1/2{alpha}) was 0.12 h (IQR, 0.05 to 0.66 h), and the median elimination half-life (t1/2β) was 413 h (IQR, 318 to 516 h). For CQ, the median Vss/F was 154 liters/kg (IQR, 101 to 210 liters/kg), the median CL/F was 0.80 liters/h/kg (IQR, 0.52 to 0.96 liters/h/kg), the median t1/2{alpha} was 0.43 h (IQR, 0.05 to 1.82 h), and the median t1/2β was 233 h (IQR, 206 to 298 h). The noncompartmentally derived median DECQ t1/2β was 290 h (IQR, 236 to 368 h). Combined molar concentrations of DECQ and CQ were higher than those of PQ during the elimination phase. Although PQ has a longer t1/2β than CQ, its prompt distribution and lack of active metabolite may limit its posttreatment malaria-suppressive properties.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-243
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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