Artesunate: a potent antimalarial treatment

Artesunate comes from qinghaosu, the sweet wormwood bush (Artemisia annua). It’s a fast-acting antimalarial drug discovered by Chinese scientists in the early 1970s.

Artesunate is often referred to as the most efficient malaria parasite killer ever discovered.

However, it’s short-lived action after taking a dose requires using it with another longer-lasting drug in order to kill any parasites that survive it’s initial effect.

A review of artesunate’s history, cost, and role as a treatment for malaria is found in The Scientist.

The pharmaceutical company, Sanofi Aventis sponsors a website called Impact Malaria. Lots of information about this disease can be found there. Also, see The Medical Journal of Australia website for more information on artesunate.

12/4/06 17:34 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.