An allergy drug Astemizole which was pulled off the market in 1999 over side-effect fears,could work in the treatment of malaria. Researchers from the John Hopkins University's School of Medicine and Public Health tested Astemizol in test tubes and in mice.
Moderate doses reduced the numbers of Plasmodium parasites by 80 per cent but the mice when administered chloroquine, reduced parasite numbers by 40 per cent.
Malaria, caused by a single-cell parasite called Plasmodium that is carried by mosquitoes, kills at least a million people every year and makes 300 million people seriously ill.
The team of researchers screened 2,687 known drugs for potential effectiveness in killing Plasmodium and found that astemizole was one best.