Why do we take Coartem with milk?

Coartem is one of the most popular antimalarial medications…it comes in different strengths and be be used to treat malaria in children and adults. I have long realised that many doctors and pharmacists encourage patients to take Coartem with milk or other fatty foods like cheese and l have always asked the reason for this practice… Is it a traditional practice or a practice that have a scientific explanation?

Why do we take Coartem with milk? People including doctors and pharmacists speak👇

Marcus Muuka Munsaka

I am hearing this for the very first time.. for sure, drugs are being administered with hardly any instructions apart from the usual” 3 tablets 3 times a day for 5 days” thanks for this vital information.

Why do we take Coartem with milk?
Is it really recommended to take Coartem with milk or fatty meals?

Lehman Chisanza

Crazy facts! You are not allowed to eat grapes or drink grape juice when on coartem! You may die! But you can take Coartem with milk! The nurse will very seldom tell you that or never!

Pharmacist John Oke

Coartem should be taken with food and drinks rich in fat (e.g. milk). Standard African diets…or BREAST MILK are also fine. Milk aids rapid absorption of Coartem from the gut.

Amaka Roberts

Milk is preferred to be taken with coartem because it is absorbed better in fatty medium.


To enhance absorption and Increase bioavailability of Coartem on the blood. Ditto for fatty meals in general.Taking Coartem with milk or other fatty foods reduces its side effects like nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pains.

Pharmacist Osteen

Absorption is increased with meals mostly fatty meals. Taking Arthemeter Lumefantrine with milk(preferably fatty meals) increases it’s adsorption. And also, for some individuals, it’s well tolerated when they take it with milk.

Health Tips

***8 Things You Should Know Before Using Malaria Medicines***

Millions of people use malaria medicines without knowledge of the basics of malaria treatment. Commonly used malaria medicines based on WHO recommendation are artemisines and their combinations. Examples in Nigerian market include: Artesunate, Coartem, Lonart, Co-arinate, Camosunate etc. There at other combinations but the above mentioned combinations are the safest and with minimal side effects.

Here are things you must know before using these medicines.

1. Using the combinations like Coartem, Co-arinate etc for malaria treatment is better than using artesunate alone. This is the WHO guideline and recommendation to prevent resistance and relapse.

2. They should always be taken with food. Fat-containing food (like milk or butter) enhances the absorption of these combinations.

3. Cod liver oil, cottage cheese, or fish oil may also be administered at the same time to enhance absorption.

4.They should not be taken within 30 days of radiation therapy because of possible free iron leaks to the surrounding tissues after radiation therapy.

5. Iron containing supplements can cause an interaction with these products and should be avoided while taking them.

6. Concurrent use of Vitamin C should be avoided, as it can cause these medications to become less able to be absorbed into your system.

7. They should not be taken by pregnant or breastfeeding women unless the malaria is severe and life-threatening.

8. They should not be taken in the first trimester of pregnancy at all..



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