Primaquine

Pronounced

"PRIM-uh-kwin FOSS-fate"

Common brand names:

Primaquine

Uses

Primaquine is used with other medications to prevent and treat malaria caused by mosquito bites in countries where malaria is common. Malaria parasites can enter the body through these mosquito bites, and then live in body tissues such as red blood cells or the liver. Primaquine is used after other medications (such as chloroquine) have killed the malaria parasites living inside red blood cells. Primaquine then kills the malaria parasites living in other body tissues. This prevents the return of the infection. Both drugs are needed for a complete cure. Primaquine phosphate belongs to a class of drugs known as antimalarials.

The United States Centers for Disease Control provide updated guidelines and travel recommendations for the prevention and treatment of malaria in different parts of the world. Discuss the most recent information with your doctor before traveling to areas where malaria occurs.

Other Uses

This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.

This drug may also be used for pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) in people with AIDS.

How to Use This Medication

Take this medication by mouth, usually once daily with food to prevent stomach upset, or as directed by your doctor. Follow your doctor's directions exactly. Primaquine is usually taken for 2 weeks after you have left the malarious area. It is started during the last 1-2 weeks of your other malaria treatment or immediately after you have finished your other treatment. Primaquine should not be taken for more than 14 days for malaria treatment.

Dosage is based on the kind of infection you have and your response to treatment. Take this medication regularly. To help you remember, take it at the same time every day.

It is very important to continue taking this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take more or less of this drug than prescribed. Do not stop taking it before completing treatment, even if you feel better, unless directed to do so by your doctor. Skipping or changing your dose without approval from your doctor may cause prevention/treatment to be ineffective, cause the amount of parasite to increase, make the infection more difficult to treat (resistant), or worsen side effects.

It is important to prevent mosquito bites (such as by using appropriate insect repellents, wearing clothes that cover most of the body, remaining in air-conditioned or well-screened areas, using mosquito nets, using insect-killing spray). Buy insect repellent before traveling. The most effective insect repellents contain diethyltoluamide (DEET). Ask your doctor or pharmacist to recommend the appropriate strengths of mosquito repellent for you/your children.

No drug treatment is completely effective in preventing malaria. Therefore, seek immediate medical attention if you develop symptoms of malaria (such as fever, chills, headache, other flu-like symptoms), especially while in the malarious area and even after completing this prescription. Quick treatment of malaria infection is needed to prevent serious, possibly fatal, outcomes.

When using primaquine phosphate for treatment of infection, tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.

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Drug information is selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First DataBank, Inc. This is a summary and does not contain all possible information about this product. For complete information about this product or your specific health needs, ask your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional if you have any questions about this product or your medical condition. This information is not intended as individual medical advice and does not substitute for the knowledge and judgment of your healthcare professional. This information does not contain any assurances that this product is safe, effective or appropriate for you.

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Information expires December 2020.