This malaria parasite continues to be dormant in the body even after treatment, and there is a relapse in at least 30 per cent of cases, even without new mosquito bites, which this drug prevents. (Photo: AP)
Hyderabad: Development of the drug tafenoquine is a major breakthrough in the treatment of malaria. No drug has been developed in the past 30 years to deal with malaria. It was approved for use by the USFDA last year but is still not available in India.
Tafenoquine or Krintafel is used to treat p.vivax malaria. This malaria parasite continues to be dormant in the body even after treatment, and there is a relapse in at least 30 per cent of cases, even without new mosquito bites, which this drug prevents.
Dr Hari Kishan B., senior general physician at Apollo Hospitals explained, "The use of tafenoquine is found to have the same effect as primaquine which has been in use for a long time. While tafenoquine is claimed to be more effective, it is still not available in India. Approval was given by the US Food and Drug Administration in September 2018, and it will take some time for the drug to be available in India."
Two doses of the medicine are given in one day and it is found to kill the parasite in the body. There is no chance of a relapse if tafenoquine has been given to the patient.
The government should bring the drug to India early if it wants to eliminate malaria by 2030.