Background: The World Health Organization recommendation on the use of a single low dose of primaquine (SLD-PQ) to reduce Plasmodium falciparum malaria transmission requires more safety data.
Methods: We conducted an open-label, nonrandomized, dose-adjustment trial of the safety of 3 single doses of primaquine in glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD)-deficient adult males in Mali, followed by an assessment of safety in G6PD-deficient boys aged 11-17 years and those aged 5-10 years, including G6PD-normal control groups. The primary outcome was the greatest within-person percentage drop in hemoglobin concentration within 10 days after treatment.
Results: Fifty-one participants were included in analysis. G6PD-deficient adult males received 0.40, 0.45, or 0.50 mg/kg of SLD-PQ. G6PD-deficient boys received 0.40 mg/kg of SLD-PQ. There was no evidence of symptomatic hemolysis, and adverse events considered related to study drug (n = 4) were mild. The mean largest within-person percentage change in hemoglobin level between days 0 and 10 was -9.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], -13.5% to -5.90%) in G6PD-deficient adults receiving 0.50 mg/kg of SLD-PQ, -11.5% (95% CI, -16.1% to -6.96%) in G6PD-deficient boys aged 11-17 years, and -9.61% (95% CI, -7.59% to -13.9%) in G6PD-deficient boys aged 5-10 years. The lowest hemoglobin concentration at any point during the study was 92 g/L.
Conclusion: SLD-PQ doses between 0.40 and 0.50 mg/kg were well tolerated in G6PD-deficient males in Mali.
Clinical trials registration: NCT02535767.