Abstract

Pattern of Antimalarial Drug Use in Malaysia

Author(s): N. M. Ariffin, F. Islahudin*, M. Makmor-Bakry, E. Kumolosasi, R. N. Mudin1, U. K. Shamsudin1, M. H. A. Hamid1, W. M. Keong1, A. H. S. M. Haq2 and S. F. Abu2
Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, 50300, Kuala Lumpur, 1Vector Borne Disease Sector, Disease Control Division, Ministry of Health, Malaysia, Level 4, Block E10, Complex E, Central Federal Government Administration, 62590, Putrajaya, 2Pharmaceutical Services Division, Lot 36, Jalan Universiti, 46200, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Correspondence Address:
Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, 50300, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Email: [email protected]


This work aims to identify the pattern of antimalarial use in Malaysia as a baseline data on common drugs used in the local setting. Data on malaria prevalence and drug use pattern over the past 10-years was collected retrospectively from Vector Borne Disease Sector and Pharmaceutical Services Division, Ministry of Health. The defined daily dose/inhabitant/years is used to describe the antimalarial utilization pattern. We observed a decline of 42% malaria cases within a span of 10 years despite a steady increase in the number of P. knowlesi cases noted in Malaysia. Infections caused by the P. falciparum and P. vivax species demonstrated a reduction in cases within the span of 10 years. Between 2005 and 2013 both chloroquine and primaquine were noted to be the most common antimalarial drugs used, followed by pyrimethamine-combination and quinine. Artemisinin in particularly artesunate and mefloquine use were found to be limited during the study period. Despite being one of the oldest drugs, the quinolines were found to be the most common antimalarials used. The use of primaquine is highlighted due to the gradual increase in the use of the drug in recent years. Indeed, the general decrease in antimalarial use is attributed to the distinct reduction in malaria cases in the country.



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