Artesunate (AS) is approved for the treatment of malaria. The intravenous form is preferred to quinine for severe malaria. It is not used for the prevention of malaria. The can be administered by injection into a vein, injection into a muscle, by mouth, and by rectum.
Treatment with artesunate is generally well tolerated. Side effects may include dizziness, slow heartbeat, allergic reaction, and low white blood cell levels. Use during pregnancy appears to be safe, even though animal studies have found harm to the baby. Use of artesunate is likely fine during breastfeeding.