Skip to main content


Generic name: artesunate [ ar-TES-u-nate ]
Dosage form: intravenous powder for injection (110 mg)
Drug class: Miscellaneous antimalarials

Medically reviewed by on May 26, 2021. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is artesunate?

Artesunate is used to treat severe malaria in adults and children.

Artesunate may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.


Use only as directed. Tell your doctor if you use other medicines or have other medical conditions or allergies.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use artesunate if you are allergic to it.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had kidney problems.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant. Malaria is more likely to cause serious illness or death in a pregnant woman. Having malaria during pregnancy may also increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, and low birth weight.

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry to track the effects of artesunate on the baby.

Ask a doctor if it is safe to breastfeed while using artesunate.

How is artesunate given?

Artesunate is injected into a vein by a healthcare provider.

You may be given an additional malaria medicine during or after treatment with artesunate.

Artesunate injections are usually given every day until you can take malaria medication by mouth.

You will need medical tests for 4 weeks after you finish artesunate treatments.

What happens if I miss a dose?

In a medical setting you are not likely to miss a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

In a medical setting an overdose would be treated quickly.

What should I avoid while receiving artesunate?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Artesunate side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Artesunate may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine;

  • fever, confusion or weakness; or

  • kidney problems--swelling, urinating less, feeling tired or short of breath.

Common side effects of artesunate may include:

  • kidney problems;

  • jaundice; or

  • abnormal urine tests.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect artesunate?

Other drugs may affect artesunate, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.