What are Anti-Malarial Drugs – Malaria is a serious disease in a country like India. Our country on an average 1 out of 7 people is facing the risk of malaria. 90 percent of malarial death happens in rural areas. Our country is facing the wrath of this disease with more than 138 million cases. The economic burden back in 2013 was $1,940 million despite the Government splurging out $51 million.
The anti-malarial drug market is becoming competitive nowadays. Anti-malarial drugs have largely been used to prevent, treat and cure a range of malarial symptoms. These drugs are used for various therapeutic uses, treatments, and therapies. Want are anti-malarial drugs? What are the side effects, uses, and classes of these drugs? Want to know more about anti-malarial drugs and medicines? Here we go!
About | Malaria
Malaria is a life-threatening mosquito-borne infectious blood disease. It is caused by a protozoan parasite. It is a unicellular or single-celled micro-organisms protozoan parasite belonging to the Plasmodium type. The disease is spread by a genus of mosquitoes called Anopheles mosquito. They are mostly female mosquitoes which spread malaria.
The mosquito infects the blood by biting or injecting its parasitic saliva into the blood. The micro-parasites travel through the blood veins to the liver where they grow, develop and reproduce. This takes up to 10 to 15 days. You will see the symptoms after this duration as the protozoa increases in number and maturity. In humans, malaria is caused by the following malaria parasites:
- Plasmodium falciparum
- Plasmodium knowlesi.
- Benign malaria or Plasmodium malariae (also called quartan fever and quartan malaria)
- Plasmodium ovale
- Plasmodium vivax
About | Anti-Malarial Drugs
Anti-malarial Drugs or medications are drugs and medicines are formulated and designed to prevent, treat and cure the symptoms of malaria. Combination therapies are practiced to reduce the symptoms and failure chances of treatment. The disease is not new to the world. They have been mention in some of the early text books like Atharva Veda and Charaka Samhita. The anti-malarial drugs have been majorly used to:
- Treat suspected or confirmed malarial infection.
- Prevent individuals from getting infected while visiting a malaria-endemic. The drugs emphasis on boosting the immunity power of the person.
- Treat malaria symptom that is occurring at irregular intervals (intermittent preventive therapy) in endemic areas.
- Anti-malarial drugs are used to decrease the chances of treatment failure.
- Prevent the body from creating the risk of drug resistance.
- Prevent and cure malaria symptoms and side effects.
How Anti-Malarial Drugs Are Used and How They Work?
The drugs in anti-malarial medications differ with the stage of the current life stage of malarial protozoa. These drugs enter the liver or red blood cells (RBCs), also called erythrocytes. They start by killing the protozoa and prevent them from multiplying. Higher dosages of anti-malarial drugs can be prescribed if the symptoms start to materialize. Primaquine is used to treat dormant protozoa in the liver. They create recurrent episodes of malaria symptoms. They are difficult to eliminate.
The prescription of anti-malarial drugs depends on a number of factors. They differ from the place you belong, plan to visit or the place you contracted the diseases. Preventive treatment for almost 3 weeks is done if you are planning to visit a malaria epidemic region. It goes on till you return from the area for almost 1 to 3 weeks.
If you develop malaria then medication treatment and therapies will be followed. This includes oral medicines and injections. Combination drug may be given in order to increase the protection and reduce the risk of drug-resistant strains. You doctor can increase the prescribed drugs to eliminate the protozoa.
Anti-Malarial Drugs | Basic Properties/ Pharmacokinetics/ Mechanism Of Action
Pharmacokinetics is the study of interaction and movement of drugs in the body. It focuses on the drug absorption time, metabolism, bioavailability, distribution, and excretion. Individuals and anti-malarial drugs differ on their response rate and nature. There are many factors to determine a particular drug to a diseases person. It can be the health status, genetically determined, dietary factors and location etc.
In severe malarial disease, the red cell concentrations and plasma protein binding are increased. The properties of Pharmacokinetics of anti-malarial in geriatric and pediatrics are similar and differ in their responses. The pharmacokinetics study differs from children to adult on basis of quinine, mefloquine, and pyrimethamine. Pregnant ladies and young children have less information regarding it.
Anti-Malarial Drug Classification
The Anti-Malarial are mainly classified into two categories i.e.:
Therapeutic classification Or Mechanism of Action Based Classification
Causal prophylactics: These drugs eliminate parasite in the pre-erythrocytic form i.e. before the red blood cells are invaded.
Clinical curatives: The drugs act on killing blood schizontocides i.e. schizont of a sporozoan parasite.)
Radical curtives (tissue schizontocides): These drugs are prescribed for Plasmodium Vivax & Plasmodium Ovale
Gametocidal drugs: These drugs that kill male or female reproductive cell i.e. gametes. They prevent the spread of disease.
- Plasmodium Vivax:chloroquine, quinine\
- Plasmodium Falciparum: primaquine
Sporontocides: These drugs prevent or hamper the life cycle of malarial parasite.
Here take a look at the classification of anti-malarial drugs based on chemistry:
- 4-Aminoquinolines: Chloroquine, Amodiaquine
- 4-Quinoline- Methanol: Mefloquine
- 8-Aminoquinoline: Primaquine
- Biguanides: Proguanil, Chlorproguanil, Cycloguanil
- Diaminopyrimidine: Pyrimethamine
- Hydroxy-naphthoquinone: Atovaquone
- Phenanthrene-Methanol: Lumefantrine
- Quinoline-containing Cinchona Alkaloids: Quinine, Quinidine
- Sesquiterpene-Lactone: Qinghaosu (Artemisinin), Arte-Ether, Artemether –longer acting
- Sulfonamides/Sulfone: Sulfadoxine, Sulfalene, Dapsone
- Tetracyclines: Tetracycline, Doxycycline, Minocycline
Common List Of Anti-Malarial Drugs
Here take a look at the most commonly prescribed drugs of anti-malarial drugs are as follows:
- Pyrimethamine with sulfadoxine
- Proguanil with atovaquone
Side Effects Of Anti-Malarial Medicines and Drugs
The drugs are advised to be taken under the prescription of a doctor. Pregnant and breastfeeding lasies should seek medical advice. Epilepsy people should avoid anti-malarial drugs like Mefloquine and chloroquine. There are a number of side effects related to the anti-malarial drugs. Here are the following:
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in ears
- Hot flushes
- Anxiety, depression and panic attacks
- Low energy or dizziness
- Hallucinations etc.
Combination therapies have been applied to treat and cure the degree of malaria in various stages. One can go through Non-artemisinin based combinations or Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs). Tablets, pills, and injections are mainly prescribed in combination to eliminate the whole disease form the body and blood cells.