Sinha, Shweta Department of Medical Parasitology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India.
Last reviewed:October 2019
- Artemisinin and its derivatives
- Mode of action
- Artemisinin resistance
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A sesquiterpene lactone (C15H22O5), derived from the leaves of Artemisia annua (sweet wormwood or qinghao), which is known for its antimalarial activity. Artemisinin (C15H22O5; see illustration) is an important antimalarial agent. Around 2000 years ago, artemisinin was used as an herbal remedy by Chinese herbal medicine practitioners. The discovery of artemisinin in the early 1970s as a therapy for malaria was a remarkable medical achievement. Chinese pharmaceutical chemist Youyou Tu was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering artemisinin as a most efficacious and safe antimalarial drug. Presently, artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) are recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the first-line treatment for malaria caused by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum. See also: Malaria; Medical parasitology; Medicine; Parasitology; Pharmaceutical chemistry; Pharmacology; Pharmacy
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