What is Atovaquone/Proguanil?
Atovaquone/Proguanil is used for the treatment and prevention of malaria. Malaria is a serious disease, at times fatal, caused by a parasite from a certain type of mosquito. The parasite enters the body through the bites of a mosquito. The parasites live in the body tissues such as the liver or red blood cells.
This medication may be combined with other medications such as primaquine to complete the treatment
Atovaquone/Proguanil belongs to the class of medications known as antimalarials.
How does Atovaquone/Proguanil work?
This combination medication works by killing P. falciparum, the parasite which causes malaria. Mosquito bites allow the entry of P. falciparum into the bloodstream and then live in the body tissues. This combination medication has proven effective where other antimalarial medications are not effective.
What are the benefits of using Atovaquone/Proguanil?
The main benefit of taking Atovaquone/Proguanil is the treatment or prevention of malaria by killing the parasites that cause the disease. This medication, alone or in combination with other medication, is effective in treating malaria where other medications failed.
How do I use Atovaquone/Proguanil?
Take this medication exactly as directed by your doctor.
This medication should be swallowed as a whole tablet with a drink of water. It may be crushed and mixed in condensed milk right before taking the dose if the patient cannot swallow it whole.
This medication must be taken with food or a drink of milk at about the same time each day. If you vomit within one hour of the dose, you must take another dose. If vomiting will persist, your doctor should consider using a different treatment.
The absorption of this medication will significantly reduce when taken on an empty stomach. People who are unable to eat food must have a different form of treatment.
The dose of this medication may be affected by a person’s body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications he is currently taking. Your doctor may recommend to you a dose that is different from the usual dose, do not change what is recommended by your doctor without consulting him first.
In the event that you miss a dose of this medicine as scheduled, take it immediately once you remember. However, if you remember that you missed a dose when it is close to the next dose, just skip the missed dose and proceed with the next regular dose. Do not double the dose as a makeup for the missed one. If you are not sure what step to take after missing a dose, ask advice from your doctor or pharmacist.
This medication must be stored at room temperature, protected from light and moisture, and must be out of reach of children.
The usual recommended adult dose for the prevention of malaria is 1 tablet daily, starting 1 to 2 days before entry to an area where malaria is endemic and continuing until 7 days after leaving the affected area.
The usual recommended adult dose for the treatment of malaria is 4 tablets daily for 3 days.
Children’s doses for malaria prevention and treatment are based on body weight.
Side effects & precautions
Many medications can cause unwanted side effects. Side effects can be mild to severe, or temporary to permanent. Not everyone who uses Atovaquone/Proguanil experiences the possible side effects.
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, weakness, headache, dizziness, and loss of appetite are the common side effects of this medication. Call your doctor immediately if the side effects persist or get worse.
Inform your doctor right away if you experience any of the very serious side effects: signs of serious liver problems, and signs of anaemia, signs of severe infection.
This medication rarely causes a serious allergic reaction. Call for emergency immediate medical attention if you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction including rash, itching or swelling of the face/tongue/throat, trouble breathing, or severe dizziness.
Report to your doctor any other side effects which you believe are associated with your use of this medication.
Before you start taking this medication, inform your doctor if you are allergic to either atovaquone or proguanil, or if you have any other allergies. The inactive ingredients of this medication may trigger an allergic reaction or some other problems.
Before you start taking this medication, share with your doctor your medical history, especially if you have current vomiting, current diarrhoea, kidney or liver problems, mental or mood problem, and seizures.
Atovaquone/Proguanil may make you dizzy. Consumption of alcohol or marijuana use may make you dizzier. Do not drive a vehicle, operate machinery, or perform a task that requires alertness unless you are sure that you can do it safely. Limit your intake of alcoholic beverages and discuss with your doctor your marijuana use.
This medication is not recommended for use by pregnant women. However, your doctor may still prescribe this medication when it is clearly necessary. While pregnant, avoid travelling to an area with malaria as you and your unborn baby could be at a much higher risk of death or other problems. Discuss first with your doctor the benefits and risks of taking this medication during pregnancy.
It is not established if the atovaquone component of this combination medication passes into breast milk and if it has any adverse effects on a nursing infant. The proguanil in this medication passes into breast milk although its effects on the nursing infant are unknown. The use of this medication is not recommended for breastfeeding mothers, especially if the infant weighs less than 11 pounds. Discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of this medicine before you start to breastfeed.
Drug interactions may alter how your medications work or increase your risk for side effects. Before you start taking this medication, share with your doctor a list of all the medications you are currently using to allow him to check for any unsafe combination.
Some products such as penicillamine, blood thinners, or metoclopramide may interact with this medication.