A trial of Fansidar plus chloroquine or Fansidar alone for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria in Gambian children

Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. Jan-Feb 1998;92(1):73-6. doi: 10.1016/s0035-9203(98)90962-2.


Chloroquine can no longer be recommended as the first-line treatment for uncomplicated malaria in several parts of Africa because of the increasing prevalence of chloroquine resistance. However, chloroquine was a highly effective treatment for malaria not only because of its ability to kill parasites quickly but also because it is an anti-inflammatory drug. Therefore, we have investigated whether Fansidar (pyrimethamine/sulfadoxine) plus chloroquine is a more effective treatment for uncomplicated malaria than Fansidar alone. Four hundred and five Gambian children with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria were studied in a randomized controlled trial. Significantly more children treated with Fansidar alone, compared to those treated with Fansidar plus chloroquine (19/203 vs. 2/202; P < 0.001), returned to the clinic with persistent symptoms during the first 3 d after treatment. Three children who had received Fansidar alone had fits, but none of the children treated with Fansidar plus chloroquine did so. At the day 7 follow-up, the parasite failure rate in the Fansidar alone group was 3/198 (1.5%), whilst in the Fansidar plus chloroquine group it was 3/201 (1.5%). At the day 28 follow-up, there was still no significant difference between the parasite failure rate in the Fansidar alone group (15/150; 10.0%) and the Fansidar plus chloroquine group (7/141; 5.0%) and the mean packed cell volume (PCV) in the 2 groups was similar. Thus, a combination of Fansidar plus chloroquine was a more effective symptomatic treatment than Fansidar given alone, but neither the parasite cure rate nor the PCV was enhanced by use of the combination.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Antimalarials / economics
  • Antimalarials / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chloroquine / economics
  • Chloroquine / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Combinations
  • Drug Costs
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Malaria, Falciparum / drug therapy*
  • Malaria, Falciparum / economics
  • Male
  • Parasitemia / etiology
  • Pyrimethamine / economics
  • Pyrimethamine / therapeutic use*
  • Recurrence
  • Sulfadoxine / economics
  • Sulfadoxine / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antimalarials
  • Drug Combinations
  • fanasil, pyrimethamine drug combination
  • Sulfadoxine
  • Chloroquine
  • Pyrimethamine