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Artemether and Lumefantrine

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Certain types of malaria infections are treated using the drug combination of artemether and lumefantrine (a serious infection that is spread by mosquitoes in certain parts of the world and can cause death). Malaria prevention does not require the use of artemether or lumefantrine. Artemether and lumefantrine are members of the antimalarial drug class. It functions by eradicating the malaria-causing germs.

How should this medicine be used?

Artemether and lumefantrine are available as a tablet that should be swallowed. Normally, it is taken twice daily for three days as prescribed by your doctor. Artemether and lumefantrine should always be taken with food. Call your doctor if you are unable to eat. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Take lumefantrine and artemether precisely as prescribed. Never take it in larger or less amounts or more frequently than directed by your doctor.

The tablets can be broken up and combined with one or two teaspoons of water in a clean container if you have problems swallowing them. Drink the concoction immediately. Drink everything from the glass while rinsing it with more water.

Immediately after taking the drug, you can vomit. You should take a second complete dose of artemether and lumefantrine if you vomit within 1 to 2 hours after taking them. Call your doctor if you vomit again after taking the additional dose.

During the first few days of receiving artemether and lumefantrine treatment, you ought to start feeling better. Call your doctor if your symptoms don’t go away or get worse. Call your doctor right away if you experience a fever, chills, headache, or muscle pain right after finishing your therapy. This can indicate that you have malaria in your system still.

Even if you feel better, continue taking lumefantrine and artemether until the prescription is finished. Your illness could not be entirely healed if you stop taking artemether and lumefantrine too soon or skip doses, and the bacteria might develop resistance to antimalarial medications.

For a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient, ask your pharmacist or doctor.

Other uses for this medicine

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking artemether and lumefantrine,

  • If you have any allergies, including to any of the substances in artemether and lumefantrine tablets, tell your doctor and pharmacist right away. Request a list of the components from your pharmacist.
  • Inform your doctor if you are taking any of the following medications: rifampin (Rifadin, in Rifamate, in Rifater, Rimactane); phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek); carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol, Tegretol); or St. John’s wort. If you are currently on one or more of these drugs, your doctor will probably advise you to avoid using lumefantrine and artemether.
  • Inform your doctor and pharmacist about any additional prescription and over-the-counter drugs, herbal products, vitamins, and nutritional supplements you are now taking or intend to take. Any of the following should be mentioned: amitriptyline (Elavil), clomipramine (Anafranil), and imipramine (Tofranil), antidepressants; some antifungals like fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), and ketoconazole (Nizoral); antimalarials like mefloquine (Lariam) and quinine (Qualaquin); cisapride (Propulsid); Fluoroquinolone drugs such ciprofloxacin (Cipro), gatifloxacin (Tequin), gemifloxacin (Factive), levofloxacin (Levaquin), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), nalidixic acid (NegGram), and norfloxacin (Noroxin), ofloxacin (Floxin) and sparfloxacin (Zagam) (not available in the United States); macrolide antibiotics including erythromycin (E.E.S., Ery-tab, Eryc), telithromycin (Ketek), and clarithromycin (Biaxin, in PrevPac); a few drugs used to treat HIV/AIDS or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), including atazanavir (Reyataz), darunavir (Prezista), delavirdine (Rescriptor), efavirenz (Sustiva, in Atripla), etravirine (Intelence), fosamprenavir (Lexiva), indinavir (Crixivan), lopinavir (in Kaletra) (Viramune), amiodarone (Cordarone), disopyramide (Norpace), flecainide (Tambocor), procainamide (Procanbid), quinidine, and sotalol (Betapace, Betapace AF, Sorine); medications for HIV infection such as rilpivirine (Edurant, in Complera); ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra); saquinavir (Invirase); and tip; and specific anti-psychotic drugs like pimozide (Orap) and ziprasidone (Geodon). Also let your doctor or pharmacist know if you’ve recently quit taking halofantrine (Halfan), which isn’t sold in the United States. Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye on you for side effects. Artemether and lumefantrine may also interact with a variety of other drugs, so be sure to let your doctor know about every drug you’re taking—even those that aren’t on this list.
  • Tell your doctor if you currently have or have ever had a slow, fast, or irregular heartbeat, a recent heart attack, low blood levels of magnesium or potassium, kidney, heart, or liver disease. Also mention if you or anyone in your family has ever experienced a prolonged QT interval (a rare heart condition that may cause irregular heartbeat, fainting, or sudden death).
  • Inform your doctor if you are expecting, intend to get pregnant, or are nursing a baby. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking lumefantrine and artemether.
  • You should be aware that hormonal contraceptive effectiveness may be lowered by artemether and lumefantrine (birth control pills, patches, rings, implants, and injections). Discuss birth control options with your doctor to ensure that they will be effective for you while you are on lumefantrine and artemether.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Do not drink grapefruit juice while taking this medication.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dosage, take it as soon as you recall. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing plan. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Lumefantrine with atemether may have negative effects. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Joint or muscle ache
  • Tiredness
  • Having trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Vomiting
  • Reduced appetite
  • Fever
  • Chills

Some adverse effects can be very harmful. Call your doctor right away if you encounter any of these symptoms, or seek emergency care:

  • Rapid or abnormal heartbeat
  • Fainting
  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Breathing or swallowing challenges
  • Lips, tongue, face, or throat swelling
  • Hoarseness
  • Speaking is challenging

Lumefantrine and atemether may also have other adverse effects. If you experience any strange issues while taking this medicine, contact your doctor right away.

You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Store it away from excessive heat and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom).

Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website at http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p for additional information.

As many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning. http://www.upandaway.org

In case of emergency/overdose

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

What other information should I know?

Keep all of your doctor’s appointments.

No one else should take your medication. It’s likely that your prescription cannot be renewed. Call your doctor if you continue to experience infection symptoms after taking the last of the lumefantrine and artemether.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

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