Post-licensure safety evaluation of dihydroartemisinin piperaquine in the three major ecological zones across Ghana.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Uncommon and rare adverse events (AEs), with delayed onset may not be detected before new drugs are licensed and deployed. The present study examined the post licensure safety of dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DHP) as an additional treatment for malaria in Ghana. The relationship between the incidence of AEs, treatment completion rate, participant characteristics and concomitant medications are reported. METHODS:A study conducted from September 2013 to June 2014 in Navrongo, Kintampo and Dodowa health research centres in Ghana is presented. Participants had confirmed malaria and no known allergy to study drug. Patients provided informed consent and had their symptoms and results of their clinical examinations documented. Treatment with Eurartesim® (20/160mg dihydroartemisinin and 40/320mg piperaquine by Sigma-Tau Incorporated) was given, according to the body weight of patients. First treatment doses were under observation but the second and third doses were taken at home except in a sub-study involving a nested cohort. Patients were contacted at Day 5 (± 2 days) either on telephone or by a home visit to document any AEs experienced. Patients were asked to report to the study team any other AEs that occurred within 28 days post-treatment. All patients in the nested cohort had electrocardiogram (ECG). FINDINGS:A total of 4563 patients, 52.1% females and 48.2% <6 years completed the study. A total of 444 patients were enrolled into the nested cohort. About 33% had temperature ? 37.5°C at enrolment. Approximately 3.4% reported taking prior antimalarials, 19.4% other medications and 86% took at least one concomitant medication. Incidence of AEs was 7.6% including infections (4.6%), gastrointestinal disorders (1.0%) and local reactions at the site of venesection (0.5%). Others were respiratory disorders (0.4%) and nervous system disorders (0.3%). There were nine adverse events of special interest (AESI); itching/pruritus (7), dizziness (1), and skin lesions (1). Patients who took medications prior to enrolment had higher incidence of AEs compared with those without (9.3% vs. 6.1%; P<0.001). Statistically significant associations were found between the reported AEs and age of patients (P<0.001), their body mass index (BMI) (P< 0.001) and parasite densities (P< 0.001). CONCLUSION:Dihydroartemisinin-Piperaquine was well tolerated with no serious safety concerns identified. Obesity and prior enrolment medication were among significant factors associated with increased AEs reporting.
Project description:Intermittent treatment with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine is widely recommended for the prevention of malaria in pregnant women in Africa. However, with the spread of resistance to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine, new interventions are needed.We conducted a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial involving 300 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-uninfected pregnant adolescents or women in Uganda, where sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine resistance is widespread. We randomly assigned participants to a sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine regimen (106 participants), a three-dose dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine regimen (94 participants), or a monthly dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine regimen (100 participants). The primary outcome was the prevalence of histopathologically confirmed placental malaria.The prevalence of histopathologically confirmed placental malaria was significantly higher in the sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine group (50.0%) than in the three-dose dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine group (34.1%, P=0.03) or the monthly dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine group (27.1%, P=0.001). The prevalence of a composite adverse birth outcome was lower in the monthly dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine group (9.2%) than in the sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine group (18.6%, P=0.05) or the three-dose dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine group (21.3%, P=0.02). During pregnancy, the incidence of symptomatic malaria was significantly higher in the sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine group (41 episodes over 43.0 person-years at risk) than in the three-dose dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine group (12 episodes over 38.2 person-years at risk, P=0.001) or the monthly dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine group (0 episodes over 42.3 person-years at risk, P<0.001), as was the prevalence of parasitemia (40.5% in the sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine group vs. 16.6% in the three-dose dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine group [P<0.001] and 5.2% in the monthly dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine group [P<0.001]). In each treatment group, the risk of vomiting after administration of any dose of the study agents was less than 0.4%, and there were no significant differences among the groups in the risk of adverse events.The burden of malaria in pregnancy was significantly lower among adolescent girls or women who received intermittent preventive treatment with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine than among those who received sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine, and monthly treatment with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine was superior to three-dose dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine with regard to several outcomes. (Funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02163447.).
Project description:Emerging antimalarial drug resistance in mobile populations remains a significant public health concern. We compared two regimens of dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine in military and civilians on the Thai-Cambodian border to evaluate national treatment policy.Efficacy and safety of two and three-day regimens of dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine were compared as a nested open-label evaluation within a malaria cohort study in 222 otherwise healthy volunteers (18% malaria-infected at baseline). The first 80 volunteers with slide-confirmed Plasmodium falciparum or vivax malaria were randomized 1:1 to receive either regimen (total dose 360 mg dihydroartemisinin and 2880 mg piperaquine) and followed weekly for up to 6 months. The primary endpoint was malaria recurrence by day 42. Volunteers with vivax infection received primaquine at study discharge with six months follow-up.Eighty patients (60 vivax, 15 falciparum, and 5 mixed) were randomized to dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine. Intention-to-treat all-species efficacy at Day 42 was 85% for the two-day regimen (95% CI 69-94) and 90% for the three-day regimen (95% CI 75-97). PCR-adjusted falciparum efficacy was 75% in both groups with nearly half (45%) still parasitemic at Day 3. Plasma piperaquine levels were comparable to prior published reports, but on the day of recrudescence were below measurable in vitro piperaquine IC50 levels in all falciparum treatment failures.In the brief period since introduction of dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine, there is early evidence suggesting declining efficacy relative to previous reports. Parasite IC50 levels in excess of plasma piperaquine levels seen only in treatment failures raises concern for clinically significant piperaquine resistance in Cambodia. These findings warrant improved monitoring of clinical outcomes and follow-up, given few available alternative drugs.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01280162.
Project description:Treatment adherence has been described as the process whereby patients take medications, follow diet, and effect other lifestyle changes that relate to agreed recommendations from healthcare providers. The determinants of such treatment adherence include patient, the health condition, therapy type, socioeconomic conditions, and the healthcare system. The study examined adherence in malaria patients treated with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine in routine clinical care in northern Ghana. The study was conducted in Navrongo Health Research Centre in the Kassena-Nankana district of northern Ghana. Patients confirmed with uncomplicated malaria were prescribed dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine in blister packs to be taken daily for three days. Follow-up visits were made on days 3 and 28 after diagnosis to collect data on adherence, drug safety and therapeutic effectiveness. During follow-up visits, in-depth interviews were conducted and the blister packs directly observed for the number of tablets remaining. The in-depth interviews documented day-by-day account of doses taken, number of tablets taken during each dose, time of each dose, reasons for any leftover or missed dose, and whether or not there was vomiting. Treatment adherence was classified as definitely nonadherent, incomplete adherence, and completely adherent. A total of 405 patients were screened; 299 were positive by rapid diagnostic testing and 216 by microscopy. The average age was 12 years and females represented 54.0%. All participants completed day 3 follow-up but 12.7% had leftover pills. Treatment adherence was 50.9% (95% CI 44.1, 57.8), 36.1% (95% CI 29.7, 42.9), and 13.0% (95% CI 8.8, 18.2) for completely adherent, incomplete adherence, and definitely nonadherent, respectively. All completely adherent patients were free of parasitemia on day 28 of follow-up. A total of 49 adverse events related to malaria symptoms were documented. Effort to improve adherence should be individualized as it is dependent on a number of factors such as the patients' temperament, the disease, support at home, and complexity of treatment.
Project description:In a randomised trial comparing intermittent screening and treatment (IST) with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP) and intermittent preventive therapy against malaria in pregnancy (IPT) with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) in Malawi, the impacts of IST-DP and IPT-SP on the development and maintenance of malaria antibody immunity were compared. Pregnant Malawian women were randomised to receive IST-DP or IPT-SP. In a nested study, paired enrolment and delivery plasma samples from 681 women were assayed for antibodies against recombinant antigens and for IgG and opsonising antibodies to antigens found on infected erythrocytes (IEs). At delivery, antibody responses did not differ between study arms. Between enrolment and delivery, antibodies to recombinant antigens decreased, whereas antibodies to IEs including opsonising antibodies remained stable. Overall, changes in antibody responses over pregnancy did not differ by treatment arm. Stratifying by gravidity, antibody to schizont extract decreased more in multigravidae receiving IST-DP than IPT-SP. There was minimal impact of treatment arm on the development and maintenance of malaria immunity. While antibodies to recombinant antigens declined between enrolment and delivery, antibodies directed against IEs tended to be more stable, suggesting longer-lasting protection.Clinical trial registration: Pa n African Clinical Trials Registry (PACTR201103000280319) 14/03/2011. URL: http://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN69800930 .
Project description:Background:We assessed the efficacy of artemisinin-based combination therapies for treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria, with or without co-infecting Plasmodium spp., in Sumatera, Indonesia. Methods:Febrile patients aged >6 months with uncomplicated P. falciparum were randomized to receive dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine or artemether-lumefantrine, plus single-dose primaquine, and were followed for 42 days. Mixed Plasmodium infections were included; P. vivax infections received 14 days of primaquine. We retrospectively restricted the analysis to cases with polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-confirmed parasitemia. Recurrent parasitemia in follow-up was identified by species-specific nested PCR. Results:Of the 3731 participants screened, 302 were enrolled and randomized. In the dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine arm, P. falciparum infections were confirmed by PCR in 59 participants, with mixed infections in 23 (39.0%). In the artemether-lumefantrine arm, P. falciparum infections were confirmed by PCR in 55 participants, with mixed infections in 16 (29.0%). Both regimens were well tolerated, and symptoms improved rapidly in all treated participants. In the dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine arm, 1 P. falciparum recurrence (on day 7) and 6 P. malariae recurrences (1 had a mixed infection with P. falciparum) were identified during days 3-42 of follow-up. In the artemether-lumefantrine arm, 1 P. falciparum/P. malariae/P. vivax recurrence occurred on day 35. Submicroscopic persistence occurred during follow-up in 21 (37%) of 57 receiving dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine and 20 (39%) of 51 receiving artemether-lumefantrine. Conclusions:In Sumatera, both regimens effectively cleared initial parasitemia, but P. falciparum and P. malariae persisted in some individuals. Molecular species detection should be deployed in antimalarial efficacy trials in Indonesia. Trial registration:NCT02325180.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) have significantly contributed to reduce Plasmodium falciparum malaria burden in Vietnam, but their efficacy is challenged by treatment failure of dihydroartemisinin/piperaquine ACT in Southern provinces.<h4>Objectives</h4>To assess the efficacy of dihydroartemisinin/piperaquine for uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria in Gia Lai, Central Vietnam, and determine parasite resistance to artemisinin (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT02604966).<h4>Methods</h4>Sixty patients received either dihydroartemisinin/piperaquine (4 mg/kg/day, 3 days; n = 33) or artesunate monotherapy (4 mg/kg/day, 3 days; n = 27) followed by dihydroartemisinin/piperaquine (AS + DHA/PPQ). Clinical phenotypes were determined during a 42 day follow-up and analysed together with ex vivo susceptibility to antimalarials and molecular markers of drug resistance.<h4>Results</h4>Day 3 positivity rate was significantly higher in the AS + DHA/PPQ arm compared with dihydroartemisinin/piperaquine (70.4% versus 39.4%, P = 0.016). Parasite clearance time was 95.2 h (AS + DHA/PPQ) versus 71.9 h (dihydroartemisinin/piperaquine, P = 0.063) and parasite clearance half-life was 7.4 h (AS + DHA/PPQ) versus 7.0 h (dihydroartemisinin/piperaquine, P = 0.140). Adequate clinical and parasitological response at Day 42 was 100% in both arms. By RT-qPCR, 36% (19/53) patients remained positive until Day 7. No recurrences were detected. kelch13 artemisinin resistance mutations were found in 87% (39/45) of isolates and 50% (20/40) were KEL1/C580Y. The piperaquine resistance marker plasmepsin-2 was duplicated in 10.4% (5/48). Isolates from Day 3-positive patients (n = 18) had higher ex vivo survival rates to artemisinin compounds (P < 0.048) and prevalence of kelch13 mutations (P = 0.005) than Day 3-negative patients (n = 5). The WHO definition of artemisinin resistance was fulfilled in 60% (24/40) of cases.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Although dihydroartemisinin/piperaquine remained effective to treat P. falciparum, the high Day 3 positivity rate and prevalence of KEL1 strains calls for continuous monitoring of dihydroartemisinin/piperaquine efficacy in Central Vietnam.
Project description:The antimalarial drug piperaquine is associated with delayed ventricular depolarization, causing prolonged QT interval (time taken for ventricular de-polarisation and re-polarisation). There is a lack of safety data regarding dihydroartemisinin/piperaquine (DHA/PPQ) for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria, which has limited its use. We created a platform where electrocardiograms (ECG) were performed in public hospitals for the safety assessment of DHA/PPQ, at baseline before the use of dihydroartemisinin/piperaquine (Eurartesim®), and on day 3 (before and after administration of the final dose) and day 7 post-administration. Laboratory analyses included haematology and clinical chemistry. The main objective of the ECG assessment in this study was to evaluate the effect of administration of DHA/PPQ on QTc intervals and the association of QTc intervals with changes in blood biochemistry, full and differential blood count over time after the DHA/PPQ administration. A total of 1315 patients gave consent and were enrolled of which 1147 (87%) had complete information for analyses. Of the enrolled patients 488 (42%), 323 (28%), 213 (19%) and 123 (11%) were from Ghana, Burkina Faso, Tanzania and Mozambique, respectively. Median (lower-upper quartile) age was 8 (5-14) years and a quarter of the patients were children under five years of age (n = 287). Changes in blood biochemistry, full and differential blood count were temporal which remained within clinical thresholds and did not require any intervention. The mean QTcF values were significantly higher than on day 1 when measured on day 3 before and after administration of the treatment as well as on day 7, four days after completion of treatment (12, 22 and 4 higher, p < 0.001). In all age groups the values of QT, QTcF and QTcB were highest on day 3 after drug intake. The mean extreme QTcF prolongation from baseline was lowest on day 3 before drug intake (33 ms, SD = 19) and highest on day 3 after the last dose (60 ms, SD = 31). There were 79 (7%) events of extreme mean QTcF prolongation which were not clinically significant. Nearly a half of them (n = 37) were grade 3 and mainly among males (33/37). Patients in Burkina Faso, Mozambique and Tanzania had significantly lower mean QTcF than patients in Ghana by an average of 3, 4 and 11 ms, respectively. We found no evidence that Eurartesim® administered in therapeutic doses in patients with uncomplicated malaria and no predisposing cardiac conditions in Africa was associated with adverse clinically significant QTc prolongation.
Project description:Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine, the current first-line drug for uncomplicated malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax in Cambodia, was previously shown to be of benefit as malaria chemoprophylaxis when administered as a monthly 3-day regimen. We sought to evaluate the protective efficacy of a compressed monthly 2-day treatment course in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces. The safety and efficacy of a monthly 2-day dosing regimen of dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine were evaluated in a two-arm, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled cohort study with 2:1 treatment allocation. Healthy military volunteers in areas along the Thai-Cambodian border where there is a high risk of malaria were administered two consecutive daily doses of 180 mg dihydroartemisinin and 1,440 mg piperaquine within 30 min to 3 h of a meal once per month for a planned 4-month period with periodic electrocardiographic and pharmacokinetic assessment. The study was halted after only 6 weeks (69 of 231 projected volunteers enrolled) when four volunteers met a prespecified cardiac safety endpoint of QTcF (Fridericia's formula for correct QT interval) prolongation of >500 ms. The pharmacodynamic effect on the surface electrocardiogram (ECG) peaked approximately 4 h after piperaquine dosing and lasted 4 to 8 h. Unblinded review by the data safety monitoring board revealed mean QTcF prolongation of 46 ms over placebo at the maximum concentration of drug in serum (Cmax) on day 2. Given that dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine is one of the few remaining effective antimalarial agents in Cambodia, compressed 2-day treatment courses of dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine are best avoided until the clinical significance of these findings are more thoroughly evaluated. Because ECG monitoring is often unavailable in areas where malaria is endemic, repolarization risk could be mitigated by using conventional 3-day regimens, fasting, and avoidance of repeated dosing or coadministration with other QT-prolonging medications. (This study has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov under registration no. NCT01624337.).
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Western Cambodia is the epicentre of Plasmodium falciparum multidrug resistance and is facing high rates of dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine treatment failures. Genetic tools to detect the multidrug-resistant parasites are needed. Artemisinin resistance can be tracked using the K13 molecular marker, but no marker exists for piperaquine resistance. We aimed to identify genetic markers of piperaquine resistance and study their association with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine treatment failures.<h4>Methods</h4>We obtained blood samples from Cambodian patients infected with P falciparum and treated with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine. Patients were followed up for 42 days during the years 2009-15. We established in-vitro and ex-vivo susceptibility profiles for a subset using piperaquine survival assays. We determined whole-genome sequences by Illumina paired-reads sequencing, copy number variations by qPCR, RNA concentrations by qRT-PCR, and protein concentrations by immunoblotting. Fisher's exact and non-parametric Wilcoxon rank-sum tests were used to identify significant differences in single-nucleotide polymorphisms or copy number variants, respectively, for differential distribution between piperaquine-resistant and piperaquine-sensitive parasite lines.<h4>Findings</h4>Whole-genome exon sequence analysis of 31 culture-adapted parasite lines associated amplification of the plasmepsin 2-plasmepsin 3 gene cluster with in-vitro piperaquine resistance. Ex-vivo piperaquine survival assay profiles of 134 isolates correlated with plasmepsin 2 gene copy number. In 725 patients treated with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine, multicopy plasmepsin 2 in the sample collected before treatment was associated with an adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) for treatment failure of 20·4 (95% CI 9·1-45·5, p<0·0001). Multicopy plasmepsin 2 predicted dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine failures with 0·94 (95% CI 0·88-0·98) sensitivity and 0·77 (0·74-0·81) specificity. Analysis of samples collected across the country from 2002 to 2015 showed that the geographical and temporal increase of the proportion of multicopy plasmepsin 2 parasites was highly correlated with increasing dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine treatment failure rates (r=0·89 [95% CI 0·77-0·95], p<0·0001, Spearman's coefficient of rank correlation). Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine efficacy at day 42 fell below 90% when the proportion of multicopy plasmepsin 2 parasites exceeded 22%.<h4>Interpretation</h4>Piperaquine resistance in Cambodia is strongly associated with amplification of plasmepsin 2-3, encoding haemoglobin-digesting proteases, regardless of the location. Multicopy plasmepsin 2 constitutes a surrogate molecular marker to track piperaquine resistance. A molecular toolkit combining plasmepsin 2 with K13 and mdr1 monitoring should provide timely information for antimalarial treatment and containment policies.<h4>Funding</h4>Institut Pasteur in Cambodia, Institut Pasteur Paris, National Institutes of Health, WHO, Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Investissement d'Avenir programme, Laboratoire d'Excellence Integrative "Biology of Emerging Infectious Diseases".
Project description:Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DHA-PQ) is one of five WHO recommended artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria. However, little was known on its post-registration safety and effectiveness in sub-Saharan Africa. DHA-PQ provides a long post-treatment prophylactic effect against re-infection; however, new infections have been reported within a few weeks of treatment, especially in children. This paper reports the clinical outcomes following administration of DHQ-PQ in real-life conditions in public health facilities in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mozambique, and Tanzania for the treatment of confirmed uncomplicated malaria.An observational, non-comparative, longitudinal study was conducted on 10,591 patients with confirmed uncomplicated malaria visiting public health facilities within seven health and demographic surveillance system sites in four African countries (Ghana, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Mozambique) between September 2013 and April 2014. Patients were treated with DHA-PQ based on body weight and followed up for 28 days to assess the clinical outcome. A nested cohort of 1002 was intensely followed up. Clinical outcome was assessed using the proportion of patients who reported signs and symptoms of malaria after completing 3 days of treatment.A total of 11,097 patients were screened with 11,017 enrolled, 94 were lost to follow-up, 332 withdrew and 10,591 (96.1%) patients aged 6 months-85 years met protocol requirements for analysis. Females were 52.8 and 48.5% were <5 years of age. Malaria was diagnosed by microscopy and rapid diagnostic test in 69.8% and 29.9%, respectively. At day 28, the unadjusted risk of recurrent symptomatic parasitaemia was 0.5% (51/10,591). Most of the recurrent symptomatic malaria patients (76%) were children <5 years. The mean haemoglobin level decreased from 10.6 g/dl on day 1 to 10.2 g/dl on day 7. There was no significant renal impairment in the nested cohort during the first 7 days of follow-up with minimal non-clinically significant changes noted in the liver enzymes.DHA-PQ was effective and well tolerated in the treatment of uncomplicated malaria and provides an excellent alternative first-line ACT in sub-Saharan Africa.