Drugs Home > Artemether/Lumefantrine

Drug Interactions

Artemether/lumefantrine can potentially interact with several other medicines (see Drug Interactions With Artemether/Lumefantrine).

What If I Take an Overdose of Artemether/Lumefantrine?

As with any medication, it is possible to take too much artemether/lumefantrine. If you happen to overdose on this medicine, seek immediate medical attention.
(Click Coartem Overdose for more information.)

What Should I Do If I Miss a Dose?

If you forget to take a dose of artemether/lumefantrine, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, simply skip the missed dose, and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose.

How Does This Medication Work?

Artemether/lumefantrine belongs to a class of drugs called antimalarials. Malaria is a blood infection caused by tiny parasites called Plasmodium. Artemether/lumefantrine treats malaria by killing the Plasmodium parasites.
Although it is not entirely known how artemether/lumefantrine works, it is thought that the medication prevents Plasmodium from using blood glucose for energy and from making proteins and nucleic acid, which are essential for the parasite to live.

When and How to Take Artemether/Lumefantrine

Some general considerations for taking artemether/lumefantrine include the following:
  • This medication comes in tablet form. It is usually taken twice a day for three days.
  • Artemether/lumefantrine should be taken with food to help the body absorb as much of the medicine as possible. When people have malaria, they sometimes do not want to eat. However, it is important that you take this medicine with some food or drink, such as milk, pudding, soup, or broth. If you cannot take it with food, it may not work to cure malaria.
  • If artemether/lumefantrine tablets cannot be swallowed whole, they may be crushed and mixed with a small amount of water (one to two teaspoons) immediately prior to use. Mix the medicine and water in a clear container. After drinking the mixture, rinse the container with more water and drink it to make sure the entire dose is taken.
  • If you vomit within two hours after taking artemether/lumefantrine, you should take another dose. If you vomit again, call your healthcare provider. You may need another medicine to treat malaria.
  • You should not drink grapefruit juice while taking artemether/lumefantrine. Drinking grapefruit juice with this medicine may increase the amount of artemether/lumefantrine in your body, increasing your risk for side effects.
  • You should start feeling better within two days of beginning artemether/lumefantrine treatment. Take the medicine for all three days, even if you feel better. If you do not start to feel better, your healthcare provider may need to give you a different malaria medicine.
  • Contact your healthcare provider if you get flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, and muscle aches and pains, after finishing artemether/lumefantrine. You may need additional malaria treatment.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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