Doc, I have malaria…why are you looking down there?

Medical News Today ran an interesting article covering the efficacy of rectally given anti-malarial medications. The purpose of using a suppository to deliver the medicine, Artemisinins, is a fairly new concept and can prove useful to prevent a life-threatening delay of intra-venous medications to combat severe forms of malaria.

The study looked at over 1000 patients and compared rectal administrations of several different medical compounds, all artemisinin derivatives. Interestingly, the article also compared these medicines with a standard treatment of quinine.

Ease of administration, portability and lack of special training for use are benefits of rectally administered medications. Delays in treatment of severe forms of malaria can result in death and travelers who are in remote locations and suffering from malaria might benefit from beginning this form of treatment, while seeking definitive medical care.

This might also serve as a reminder that the person trying to treat you for malaria in a remote area actually knows what they are doing when they are “checking down there”.