In many areas of tropical Africa affected by chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum, a combination of sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine (S-P) is used for alternative medication, especially in young children. In Magoda village in Muheza District, north-eastern Tanzania, 38 children 1-10 years of age were enrolled in a therapeutic study of S-P in July 1994. All had monoinfections of P. falciparum and an asexual parasite count of 1000-80,000/microL of blood. S-P was given as a single dose corresponding to 0.8-1.4 mg pyrimethamine/kg body weight. Of the 38 children followed up to day 7, 10 showed an S/RI response, 26 an RII response, and 2 an RIII response. Older children had lower pre-treatment parasitaemia and a better therapeutic response than younger children. Among the various contributory factors responsible for the poor therapeutic result, drug pressure from a prophylactic intervention with weekly dapsone-pyrimethamine between May 1993 and May 1994 seems to have been the most important.