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Treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria in nonpregnant adults and children

Johanna Daily, MD, MSc
Section Editors
Edward T Ryan, MD, DTMH
Sheldon L Kaplan, MD
Deputy Editor
Elinor L Baron, MD, DTMH


Uncomplicated falciparum malaria consists of symptomatic Plasmodium falciparum infection with a positive parasitologic test and parasitemia <4 percent, in the absence of symptoms consistent with severe malaria (table 1).

Issues related to treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria in nonpregnant adults and children will be reviewed here. Issues related to treatment of severe malaria, treatment of malaria in pregnant women, and treatment of non-falciparum malaria are discussed separately. (See "Treatment of severe malaria" and "Prevention and treatment of malaria in pregnant women" and "Overview of non-falciparum malaria in nonpregnant adults and children".)


Uncomplicated falciparum malaria consists of symptomatic P. falciparum infection with a positive parasitologic test and parasitemia <4 percent, in the absence of symptoms consistent with severe malaria (table 1). (See "Treatment of severe malaria".)

To establish the diagnosis of malaria, microscopy of blood smears or a rapid diagnostic test (RDT) should be performed. RDTs often can provide the speciation to guide therapy. If the initial diagnostic evaluation is negative, follow-up testing should be performed each day for two more days. (See "Diagnosis of malaria".)


Issues related to treatment of malaria, including indications for hospitalization, antimalarial selection and parasitemia monitoring are discussed below.

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Sep 06, 2017.
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