Artemether/lumefantrine (By mouth)

Introduction

Artemether (ar-TEM-e-ther), Lumefantrine (loo-me-FAN-treen)

Treats malaria.

Brand Name(s)

Coartem

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to artemether or lumefantrine. Do not use this medicine if you are also taking certain other medications, such as carbamazepine (Tegretol®), phenytoin (Dilantin®), rifampin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®), or St. John's wort.

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • Take this medicine with food, such as milk, infant formula, pudding, porridge, or broth. Even if you do not feel hungry, try to eat because food helps your body absorb the medicine.
  • If you or your child is unable to swallow the tablet, crush the tablet and mix it with 1 or 2 teaspoons of water in a clean container. After swallowing the mixture, rinse the container with a bit more water and swallow that also. Follow with milk, infant formula, pudding, porridge, or broth.
  • Keep using this medicine for the full treatment time, even if you feel better after the first few doses. Your infection may not clear up if you stop using the medicine too soon.
  • This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.If you vomit within 1 to 2 hours of taking this medicine, take another dose. If you vomit the second dose, tell your doctor right away. You may need a different medicine to treat your condition.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using cisapride (Propulsid®), medicine to treat mental illness (such as pimozide, ziprasidone, Geodon®, Orap®), medicine for heart rhythm problems (such as amiodarone, disopyramide, flecainide, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol, Cardioquin®, Cordarone®, Norpace®, Procanbid®, Quinaglute®), medicine to treat allergy (such as astemizole, terfenadine, Hismanal®, Seldane®), medicine to treat depression (such as amitriptyline, clomipramine, imipramine, Elavil®), medicine to treat a fungal infection (such as clotrimazole, fluconazole, ketoconazole, Diflucan®, Nizoral®), medicine to treat an infection (such as ciprofloxacin, clarithromycin, erythromycin, gatifloxacin, levofloxacin, Levaquin®), medicine to treat HIV or AIDS (such as atazanavir, delavirdine, efavirenz, lopinavir, ritonavir, Atripla®, Crixivan®, Kaletra®, Lexiva®, Norvir®, Prezista®, Rescriptor®, Reyataz®, Sustiva®), or birth control pills or patches.
  • Tell your doctor if you have used other medicines to treat your malaria infection (such as halofantrine, mefloquine, quinine, Halfan®, or Lariam®).
  • Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, severe heart disease, slow heartbeat (bradycardia), a history of heart rhythm problems (such as prolonged QT interval, congenital long QT interval), or low potassium or magnesium levels.
  • Check with your doctor right away if you have flu-like symptoms (chills, fever, headache, muscle pains) after you finish treatment with this medicine.
  • Birth control pills or patches may not work as well while you are using this medicine. Use condoms, a diaphragm, or contraceptive foam or jelly along with your birth control pills or patches.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat or pulse
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches
  • Lightheadedness or fainting
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Yellow skin or eyes

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Headache, dizziness
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea
  • Tiredness or weakness

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

         
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