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Title: Multi-country evaluation of safety of dihydroartemisinin/piperaquine post- licensure in african public hospitals with electrocardiograms
Authors: Kabanywanyi, Abdunoor M.
Baiden, Rita
Ali, Ali M.
Mahende, Muhidin K.
Ogutu, Bernhards R.
Oduro, Abraham
Tinto, Halidou
Gyapong, Margaret
Sie, Ali
Sevene, Esperança
Macete, Eusébio
Owusu-Agyei, Seth
Adjei, Alex
Compaoré, Guillaume
Valea, Innocent
Osei, Isaac
Yawson, Abena
Adjuik, Martin
Akparibo, Raymond
Kakolwa, Mwaka A.
Abdulla, Salim
Binka, Fred
Keywords: Malaria
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: PLOS ONE
Abstract: The antimalarial drug piperaquine is associated with delayed ventricular depolarization, causing prolonged QT interval (time taken for ventricular de-polarisation and re-polarisa- tion). 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 assess- ment of DHA/PPQ, at baseline before the use of dihydroartemisinin/piperaquine (Eurarte- sim ® ), 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 adminis- tration 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 adminis- tration. 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, respec- tively. 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 dif- ferential 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 mSD = 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 Eurarte- sim ® administered in therapeutic doses in patients with uncomplicated malaria and no pre- disposing cardiac conditions in Africa was associated with adverse clinically significant QTc prolongation.
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