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Antimalarial evaluation of tamoxifen: A study in parasitized mice

Pharmacy & Pharmacology International Journal
Elias Adikwu,1 Simeon Ajeka Igono,2 Nwakaego Omonigho Ebong3


Malaria parasites resistance to currently used antimalarial drugs is a clinical challenge, which adds to socio-economic burden. A quick and cost-effective solution is to discover new treatment alternatives through drug repurposing. Tamoxifen (TMX) is an anticancer drug with a discrepancy in documented antimalarial activity. The current study assessed the in-vivo antiplasmodial activity of TMX on Plasmodium berghei-infected mice. Adult Swiss albino mice (both sexes) inoculated with Plasmodium berghei (1x107 ) intraperitoneally were used for curative and suppressive antiplasmodial studies. The inoculated mice were treated orally with TMX (1, 2 and 4 mg/kg/day) while the parasitized and standard controls were treated with normal saline (0.2mL) and chloroquine (CQ) (10mg/kg/day) for 4 days, respectively. Blood samples were collected and evaluated for parasitamia and hematological indices. The effects of TMX on body weight and rectal temperature were not significantly (p>0.05) different from the parasitized control. TMX did not produce significant (p>0.05) curative and suppressive antiplasmodial effects when compared to the parasitized control. Curatively, TMX at 1, 2 and 4 mg/kg produced 8.00 %, 14.39 % and 20.16 % parasitamia inhibitions, respectively compared to 79.21% parasitamia inhibition produced by CQ. In the suppressive study, 10.06 %, 17.44 % and 21.02 % parasitamia inhibitions were produced by TMX; 1, 2 and 4 mg/kg, respectively while CQ produced 82.10 % parasitamia inhibition. TMX had no significant (p>0.05) effects on red blood cells, white blood cells, packed cell volume and haemoglobin levels when compared to the parasitized control. This study showed that TMX lacks suppressive and curative antiplasmodial activities on Plasmodium berghei-infected mice.


tamoxifen, repurpose, antimalaria, hematology, mice