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(artemether and lumefantrine) Tablets
Read this patient information before you start taking Coartem. There may be new information. This information does not take the place of talking to your healthcare provider about your medical condition or your treatment.
What is Coartem?
Coartem is a prescription medicine used to treat uncomplicated malaria in adults and children who weigh at least 11 pounds (5 kg).
Who should not take Coartem?
Do not take Coartem if you are allergic to any of the ingredients. See the end of this leaflet for a complete list of ingredients in Coartem.
Do not take Coartem if you are taking rifampin (medicine to treat leprosy or tuberculosis), certain medicines used to treat epilepsy (such as carbamazepine, phenytoin), or St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum, a medicinal plant or extract of this medicinal plant).
What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking Coartem?
Before you take Coartem, tell your healthcare provider about all your medical conditions including if you have:
- heart disease or a family history of heart problems or heart disease
- liver or kidney problems
- recently taken other medicines used to treat malaria
- if you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant. Coartem may increase your risk for loss of pregnancy. Fetal defects have been reported when artemisinins are administered to animals. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking Coartem.
- if you are breast-feeding. It is not known if Coartem passes into your breast milk. You and your doctor will decide the best way to feed your baby if you take Coartem.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Coartem and other medicines may affect each other causing side effects. Coartem may affect the way other medicines work and other medicines may affect how Coartem works.
Especially tell your doctor if you take:
- any other medicines to treat or prevent malaria
- medicines for your heart
- antipsychotic medicines
- medicines for seizures or trigeminal neuralgia (facial nerve pain)
- antibiotics (including medicines to treat tuberculosis)
- medicines to treat HIV-infection
- hormonal methods of birth control (for example, birth control pills or patch). If you are taking a hormonal birth control medicine, you should also use an additional method of birth control.
Ask your healthcare provider if you are not sure if your medicine is one that is listed above. Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of your medicines with you to show your healthcare providers when you get a new medicine.
How should I take Coartem?
- Take Coartem exactly as prescribed.
- If you weigh 77 pounds (35 kg) or more, one dose of Coartem is 4 tablets.
- If you weigh less than 77 pounds (35 kg), your healthcare provider will tell you how many tablets to take for each dose.
- A full course of treatment is 6 doses of Coartem taken
over 3 days:
Day 1: take 1 dose; 8 hours later take 1 dose
Day 2: take 1 dose in the morning, 1 dose in the evening
Day 3: take 1 dose in the morning, 1 dose in the evening
Take Coartem for 3 days even if you are feeling better.
- Every dose of Coartem should be taken with food, such as milk, infant formula, pudding, porridge, or broth. It is important for you to eat as soon as you can so that your malaria will go away and not get worse.
- Do not drink grapefruit juice while you take Coartem. Drinking grapefruit juice during treatment with Coartem can cause you to have too much medicine in your blood.
- Coartem may be crushed and mixed with one to two teaspoons of water in a clean container.
- If you vomit within 1 hour of taking Coartem you should take another dose of Coartem. If you vomit the second dose, tell your healthcare provider. A different medicine may need to be prescribed for you.
Tell your healthcare provider right away if:
- your malaria does not get better
- you vomited any of your doses of Coartem
- you are not able to eat
- you get flu-like symptoms (chills, fever, muscle pains, or headaches) again after you have finished your treatment with Coartem.
- you have any change in the way your heart beats or a loss of consciousness (fainting).
What are the possible side effects of Coartem?
Coartem can cause serious side effects including:
- A heart problem called QT prolongation that can cause an abnormal heartbeat can happen in people who take Coartem. The chance of this happening is higher in people with a family history of prolonged QT interval, low potassium (hypokalemia), and in people who take medicines to control heartbeats.
- Allergic reactions. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, hives, fast heartbeat, trouble swallowing or breathing, swelling of lips, tongue, face, tightness of the throat, or trouble speaking. If you have a serious allergic reaction, stop taking Coartem and get emergency medical help right away.
The most common side effects in adults are:
- feeling dizzy
- feeling weak
- loss of appetite
- muscle and joint pain or stiffness
- feeling tired
The most common side effects in children are:
- loss of appetite
These are not all the possible side effects of Coartem. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
How should I store Coartem?
Store Coartem between 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C).
Keep Coartem and all medicines out of the reach of children.
General information about the safe and effective use of Coartem.
Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in patient information leaflets. Do not use Coartem for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give Coartem to other people, even if they have the same symptoms that you have. It may harm them.
This patient information leaflet summarizes the most important information about Coartem. If you would like more information about Coartem talk with your healthcare provider. You can ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for information about Coartem that is written for health professionals. For more information call 1-888-294-6287.
What are the ingredients in Coartem?
Active ingredients include: artemether, lumefantrine
Inactive ingredients include: colloidal silicon dioxide, croscarmellose sodium, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polysorbate 80
Last reviewed on RxList: 5/28/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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