Proguanil - Science
• Anti-malarial drugs and the prevention of malaria in the population of malaria endemic areas.
Malar J. 2010 Dec 13;9 Suppl 3:S2.
Anti-malarial drugs can make a significant contribution to the control of malaria in endemic areas when used for prevention as well as for treatment. Chemoprophylaxis is effective in preventing deaths and morbidity from malaria, but it is difficult to sustain for prolonged periods, may interfere with the development of naturally acquired immunity and will facilitate the emergence and spread of drug resistant strains if applied to a whole community. However, chemoprophylaxis targeted to groups at high risk, such as pregnant women, or to periods of the year when the risk from malaria is greatest, can be an effective and cost effective malaria control tool and has fewer drawbacks. Intermittent preventive treatment, which involves administration of anti-malarials at fixed time points, usually when a subject is already in contact with the health services, for example attendance at an antenatal or vaccination clinic, is less demanding of resources than chemoprophylaxis and is now recommended for the prevention of malaria in pregnant women and infants resident in areas with medium or high levels of malaria transmission. Intermittent preventive treatment in older children, probably equivalent to targeted chemoprophylaxis, is also highly effective but requires the establishment of a specific delivery system. Recent studies have shown that community volunteers can effectively fill this role. Mass drug administration probably has little role to play in control of mortality and morbidity from malaria but may have an important role in the final stages of an elimination campaign.
• Malaria chemoprophylaxis: strategies for risk groups.
Schlagenhauf P, Petersen E.
Clin Microbiol Rev. 2008 Jul;21(3):466-72.
The risk of malaria for travelers varies from region to region and depends on the intensity of transmission, the duration of the stay in the area of endemicity, the style of travel, and the efficacy of preventive measures. The decision to recommend chemoprophylaxis to travelers to areas with a low risk of malarial infection is especially difficult because the risk of infection must be balanced with the risk of experiencing side effects. If the risk of side effects by far exceeds the risk of infection, the traveler needs information on measures against mosquito bites and advice on prompt diagnosis and self-treatment. The risk is difficult to quantify, and the absolute risk for travelers to most areas is not known, especially because the populations at risk are unknown. We propose here that the best approximation of the risk to the traveler to a specific area is to use the risk to the indigenous population as a guideline for the risk to the traveler, and we provide examples on how risk in the indigenous population can be used for the estimation of risk of malarial infection for travelers. Special groups are long-term visitors and residents, who often perceive risk differently, cease using chemoprophylaxis, and rely on self-diagnosis and treatment. For long-term visitors, the problem of fake drugs needs to be discussed. Strategies for chemoprophylaxis and self-treatment of pregnant women and small children are discussed. So far, malaria prophylaxis is recommended to prevent Plasmodium falciparum infections, and primaquine prophylaxis against persistent Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium ovale infections in travelers is not recommended.
• Inter-subject variability in the metabolism of proguanil to the active metabolite cycloguanil in man.
Ward SA, Watkins WM, Mberu E, Saunders JE, Koech DK, Gilles HM, Howells RE, Breckenridge AM.
Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1989 Jun;27(6):781-7.
1. The metabolism of proguanil to the active metabolite cycloguanil has been evaluated in 135 British Troops and 26 Kenyan schoolchildren. 2. Large inter-subject variability was observed in both plasma and urinary concentrations of proguanil and cycloguanil after standard doses of drug. 3. Based on the ratio of proguanil to cycloguanil (P/C) in urine the British troops formed a non-normal distribution. 90% of the population formed a discrete distribution with P/C ranging from 0.5 to 9.0 while the remaining 10% were scattered throughout the distribution to an extreme value of 39. A similar pattern of variability was observed using P/C from a 6 h plasma sample. 4. This variability was due to differences in the ability of individuals to metabolise proguanil to cycloguanil. 5. Thirteen schoolchildren who had experienced malaria during prophylaxis with proguanil and thirteen matched controls each received proguanil (100 mg). We could not discriminate between the two groups based on P/C ratio in either a 6 h plasma or 0-6 h urine sample.