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Structure diagram of artemisinin
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artemisinin (countable and uncountable, plural artemisinins)

  1. (medicine, biochemistry, organic chemistry) An antimalarial drug derived from the sweet wormwood shrub, Artemisia annua, found as the active ingredient in traditional Chinese medical herbal treatment for malaria, chemically a sesquiterpene lactone; a group of compounds chemically related to the drug.
    • 1994 May, Mankil Jung, Current Developments in the Chemistry of Artemisinin and Related Compounds, Current Medicinal Chemistry, page 35,
      Artemisinin (Qinghaosu) isolated from Artemisia annua is a novel sesquiterpene lactone bearing an unusual endoperoxide function.
    • 1998, Dee Ann Casteel, Synthesis of Simple Bridged Bicyclic Trioxanes as Analogs of the Antimalarial Natural Product, Atemisinin, Attaur Rahman (editor), New Trends in Natural Product, page 30,
      The practical value of artemisinin itself as a therapeutic agent has been limited by several factors, however. Artemisinin has a high rate of recrudescence [8], poor oral activity [8], a short half-life in plasma [9], and limited solubility in both water and oil [10].
    • 2010, Bill Shore, The Imaginations of Unreasonable Men[1], page 222:
      The emerging resistance to artemisinin is partly due to the complexity of the parasite and the unstoppable nature of its ability to evolve. But it is also the direct result of greed, for which there is no drug or vaccine.
      In early 2009 the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the discovery of malaria parasites along the Thai-Cambodia border that were proving resistant to commonly used derivatives of artemisinin called artesunate and anthemeter.



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