The population pharmacokinetics of artesunate (AS) and its active metabolite dihydroartemisinin (DHA) were studied in healthy subjects receiving single- or multiple-dosing of AS orally either in combination with pyronaridine (PYR) or as a monotherapy with or without food.
Artemisinin derivatives are well-tolerated anti-malaria drugs that also exert anti-cancer activity. Here, we investigated artemisinin and its derivatives dihydroartemisinin and artesunate in a panel of chemosensitive and chemoresistant human neuroblastoma cells as well as in primary neuroblastoma cultures.
Single oral doses of artesunate, dihydroartemisinin, arteether and artemether administered to rats during a sensitive period of organogenesis caused embryo deaths and malformations (malformed long bones and ventricular septal defects). Extended oral dosing (12 days or more) of monkeys once daily with 12 mg/kg-d artesunate also caused embryo deaths. The initial embryotoxic effect in both species was to kill primitive erythroblasts which are present in the embryo for a few days of gestation in rats and several weeks in primates.