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Malaria treatment: Eli Lilly announces discontinuation of IV quinidine

Earlier this month, pharmaceutical manufacturer, Eli Lilly announced that it will no longer be producing IV quinidine gluconate, but plans to continue distributing the product until the current stock expires (March 2019).

As of today, intravenous quinidine gluconate remains available for the treatment of severe malaria. CDC and FDA are developing a strategy to ensure continued access to essential medicine for the treatment of severe malaria in the United States.

Malaria can be a severe, potentially fatal disease (especially when caused by Plasmodium falciparum) and treatment should be initiated as soon as possible.

Patients who have severe P. falciparum malaria or who cannot take oral medications should be given the treatment by continuous intravenous infusion.

Most drugs used in treatment are active against the parasite forms in the blood (the form that causes disease) and include: chloroquine, atovaquone-proguanil (Malarone®), artemether-lumefantrine (Coartem®), mefloquine (Lariam®), quinine, quinidine, doxycycline (used in combination with quinine), clindamycin (used in combination with quinine) and artesunate (not licensed for use in the United States, but available through the CDC malaria hotline).

Malaria life cycle/CDC