Artemether is an antiparasitic medication. It is used in the treatment of malaria. It is not used to prevent malaria or to treat severe malaria (where it has affected the brain, lungs or kidneys).

Artemether is a medication used for the treatment of malaria.  The injectable form is specifically used for severe malaria rather than quinine. In adults, it may not be as effective as artesunate. It is given by injection in a muscle. It is also available by mouth in combination with lumefantrine, known as artemether.

Artemether causes relatively few side effects. An irregular heartbeat may rarely occur. While there is evidence that use during pregnancy may be harmful in animals, there is no evidence of concern in humans. The World Health Organization (WHO) therefore recommends its use during pregnancy. It is in the artemisinin class of medication.

Artemether has been studied since at least 1981 and has been in medical use since 1987. It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines. 


Medical uses:

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the treatment of uncomplicated P. falciparum with artemisinin-based combination therapy. Given in combination with lumefantrine, it may be followed by a 14-day regimen of primaquine to prevent relapse of P. vivax or P. ovale malarial parasites and provide a complete cure.

Artemether can also be used in treating and preventing trematode infections of schistosomiasis when used in combination with praziquantel.

Artemether is rated category C by the FDA based on animal studies where artemisinin derivatives have shown an association with fetal loss and deformity. Some studies, however, do not show evidence of harm.