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All about: atovaquone and proguanil

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Generic Name: atovaquone and proguanil (a TOE va kwone and pro GWAHN il)
Brand Names: Malarone, Malarone Pediatric

What is atovaquone and proguanil?

Atovaquone and proguanil are medications to treat malaria, a disease caused by parasites. These medicines work by interfering with the growth of parasites in the red blood cells of the human body.

Parasites that cause malaria typically enter the body through the bite of a mosquito. Malaria is common in areas such as Africa, South America, and Southern Asia.

The combination of atovaquone and proguanil is used to treat or prevent malaria.

Atovaquone and proguanil may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about atovaquone and proguanil?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to atovaquone or proguanil, or if you have severe kidney disease.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, severe complications from infection with malaria, or uncontrolled vomiting or diarrhea.

Take atovaquone and proguanil at the same time each day with food or a milky drink. If you vomit within 1 hour after taking this medication, take another dose. If your vomting continues, call your doctor.

If you are taking this medicine to prevent malaria, start taking it 1 or 2 days before entering an area where malaria is common. Take the medication every day during your stay for at least 7 days after you leave.

If you are taking this medicine to treat malaria, take the medication every day for 3 days in a row.

Take this medication for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated.

In addition to taking atovaquone and proguanil, use protective clothing, insect repellents, and mosquito netting around your bed to further prevent mosquito bites that could cause malaria.

Contact your doctor as soon as possible if you have been exposed to malaria, or if you have a fever or other symptoms of illness during or after a stay in an area where malaria is common.

No medication is 100% effective in treating or preventing malaria. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Talk with your doctor if you have fever, vomiting, or diarrhea during your treatment.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking atovaquone and proguanil?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to atovaquone or proguanil, or if you have severe kidney disease.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • kidney disease;

  • severe complications from malaria; or

  • uncontrolled vomiting or diarrhea.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use atovaquone and proguanil, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

FDA pregnancy category C. Atovaquone and proguanil may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Malaria is more likely to cause death in a pregnant woman. If you are pregnant, talk with your doctor about the risks of traveling to areas where malaria is common. Proguanil can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. It is not known whether atovaquone passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Atovaquone and proguanil should not be used to treat malaria in a child who weighs less than 11 pounds, and should not be used to prevent malaria in a child who weighs less than 24 pounds.

How should I take atovaquone and proguanil?

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

It is important to use this medication regularly to best prevent malaria. If you stop using the medication early for any reason, talk to your doctor about other forms of malaria prevention.

Take atovaquone and proguanil at the same time each day with food or a milky drink. If you vomit within 1 hour after taking this medication, take another dose. If your vomting continues, call your doctor.

If you are taking this medicine to prevent malaria:

  • Start taking the medicine 1 or 2 days before entering an area where malaria is common. Continue taking the medicine every day during your stay and for at least 7 days after you leave the area.

If you are taking this medicine to treat malaria:

  • Take the medicine every day for 3 days in a row.

  • Take this medicine for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated.

In addition to taking atovaquone and proguanil, use protective clothing, insect repellents, and mosquito netting around your bed to further prevent mosquito bites that could cause malaria.

Contact your doctor as soon as possible if you have been exposed to malaria, or if you have fever or other symptoms of illness during or after a stay in an area where malaria is common.

No medication is 100% effective in treating or preventing malaria. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Talk with your doctor if you have fever, vomiting, or diarrhea during your treatment.

Store atovaquone and proguanil at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Symptoms of an atovaquone and proguanil overdose may include stomach discomfort, vomiting, mouth sores, hair loss, easy bruising or bleeding, and peeling of the skin on your hands or feet.

What should I avoid while taking atovaquone and proguanil?

There are no restrictions on foods, beverages, or activities while taking atovaquone and proguanil unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

Atovaquone and proguanil side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • severe or uncontrolled vomiting or diarrhea;

  • fever; or

  • severe stomach pain.

Less serious side effects are more likely to occur, such as:

  • nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite;

  • mild stomach pain;

  • mild diarrhea;

  • headache;

  • weakness;

  • dizziness; or

  • itching.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect atovaquone and proguanil?

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • rifabutin (Mycobutin);

  • rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate, Rimactane);

  • tetracycline (Brodspec, Panmycin, Sumycin, Tetracap); or

  • metoclopramide (Reglan).

If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use atovaquone and proguanil, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

There may be other drugs not listed that can affect atovaquone and proguanil. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has information about atovaquone and proguanil written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Atovaquone and proguanil is available with a prescription under the brand name Malarone. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Malarone 250 mg atovaquone/100 mg proguanil--pink, round, film-coated tablets

  • Malarone Pediatric 62.5 mg atovaquone/25 mg proguanil--pink, round, film-coated tablets

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children. Never share your medicines with others and only use this medicine for the illness for which your doctor prescribed it.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.03. Revision Date: 10/13/06 10:21:07 AM.

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