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Glass phial of 'Mepacrine' an anti-malaria treatment, England, 1957-1975

‘Mepacrine’ is a yellow powder made by ICI Ltd to prevent and treat malaria. The powder is mixed with a liquid and then injected into the body. The treatment was introduced in Germany 1933 and was produced in large quantities for Allied troops during the Second World War. Troops needed to take preventative measures against malaria when fighting in areas such as North Africa and the Middle East, where the disease is common. Unfortunately, when used for a long time, the treatment turns the skin yellow. Like other anti-malarial drugs, it was found that Mepacrine has anti-inflammatory properties and it is used today to treat skin disorders.

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Glossary: anti-malarial drug

Drugs that are taken to prevent or cure malaria. Treatments can be preventative, or as therapy to cure malarial infection.

Glossary: malaria

Parasitic disease transmitted by certain kinds of mosquito. Malaria is characterized by fever and enlargement of the spleen. Each year, there are approximately 515 million cases of malaria, killing between one and three million people.

Glossary: anti-inflammatory

A drug that reduces inflammation by working against the elements in the body that cause and maintain the inflammation.

Glossary: phial

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