Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

A classic way of delaying drug resistance is to use an alternative when possible. We tested the malaria treatment Argemone mexicana decoction (AM), a validated self-prepared traditional medicine made with one widely available plant and safe across wide dose variations. In an attempt to reflect the real situation in the home-based management of malaria in a remote Malian village, 301 patie nts with presumed uncomplicated malaria (median age 5 years) were randomly assigned to receive AM or artesunate-amodiaquine [artemisinin combination therapy (ACT)] as first-line treatment. Both treatments were well tolerated. Over 28 days, second-line treatment was not required for 89% (95% CI 84.1-93.2) of patients on AM, versus 95% (95% CI 88.8-98.3) on ACT. Deterioration to severe malaria was 1.9% in both groups in children aged ≤5 years (there were no cases in patients aged > 5 years) and 0% had coma/convulsions. AM, now government-approved in Mali, could be tested as a first-line complement to standard modern drugs in high-transmission areas, in order to reduce the drug pressure for development of resistance to ACT, in the management of malaria. In view of the low rate of severe malaria and good tolerability, AM may also constitute a first-aid treatment when access to other antimalarials is delayed. © 2009 Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Original publication




Journal article


Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Publication Date





33 - 41