We have compared a multi-dose intramuscular regime of artemether against the standard intravenous quinine treatment for cerebral malaria in an open randomized study. Parasite clearance time, fever clearance time, and time to recover from coma were similar in the 2 groups of patients. Although the mortality rate was lower in the artemether group, the difference was not statistically significant. There was no toxic reaction of note in the artemether group. We therefore conclude that, because of its ease of administration and good toxicity profile, artemether is more suited for use in the rural regions of malaria endemic areas, where monitoring facilities may be minimal, compared to quinine which is potentially toxic.