Artemisinin is an active ingredient that is naturally present in Artemisia annua. The term in the official IUPAC nomenclature is: (3R, 5aS, 6R, 8aS, 9R, 12S, 12aR) -3,6,9-trimethyloctahydro-3H-3,12-epoxy [1,2] dioxepino [4,3- i] isochromen-10 (12H) -one and has brute or molecular formula: C15H22O5.
Artemisinin is a molecule used in the fight against malaria and was first isolated in 1972 by the Chinese pharmacist Tu Youyou whom she called qinghaosu.
It was thanks to this discovery that in 2015 she was awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine.
Artemisinin is efficient against all plasmodium species, but it is especially useful in the presence of chloroquine-resistant or multi-drug resistant parasite infections. The medicine is also effective in the treatment of toxoplasmosis, leishmaniasis and infections from certain species of Babesia. Furthermore it would seem to have potential as an anticancer agent.
Artemisinin can be administered orally, rectally or by intramuscular injections. It is usually used in combination with other antimalarial drugs characterized by greater long-term action.
Artemisinin is a blood schizonticide and is commercially available as 250 mg tablets or capsules and 100 mg suppositories for children. Di-hydro-artemisinin is another derivative for oral therapy.
The total dose of artemisinin in adults should not exceed 2.5g (40 mg / kg) which corresponds to 600 mg (10 mg / kg) of artemether oral, di-hydro-artemisinin or sodium artesunate (parenteral, ie not administered for ingestion).
Intramuscular artemether should not exceed 320 mg (6 mg / kg).
In any case, parenteral administration of artemisinin derivatives should be limited to the treatment of severe forms of malaria.
The side effects of Artemisinin include:
– He retched;
It is also advisable to immediately inform a doctor if:
– skin rash;
– respiratory problems;
– feeling of tightness in the chest;
– swelling of the mouth, face, lips or tongue.
In any case, before taking Artemisinin-based products it is essential to notify a doctor about:
– allergies to the active ingredient, its excipients or other medicines or foods;
– drugs, herbal medicines and supplements taken;
– of the pathologies and health problems that we suffer (or have suffered);
– in the presence of pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Warning: The information given is not medical advice and may not be accurate. The contents are for illustrative purposes only and do not replace medical advice.