What is Atovaquone-Proguanil?
Atovaquone-Proguanil is an anti-malaria treatment. The tablets contain two active ingredients, proguanil and atovaquone. These are both medicines that are active against the parasite that causes malaria. Atovaquone-Proguanil can be used to prevent and to treat malaria. This medicine is only available on prescription.
What is Atovaquone-Proguanil used for?
Atovaquone-Proguanil is used to prevent and to treat malaria. Malaria is a tropical disease that is spread by mosquitoes infected with a malaria parasite. The parasite is injected into the bloodstream during a bite from an infected mosquito. Malaria has the following symptoms:
- Joint pain;
- Vomiting and diarrhoea.
If left untreated malaria can cause serious complications. Therefore, it is very important to take anti-malaria tablets if you are going to a tropical area where malaria occurs.
How to use Atovaquone-Proguanil
Atovaquone-Proguanil tablets should be taken with fatty food or a milky drink to allow the active ingredients to be absorbed better. You should start taking the medicine 24 to 48 hours before entering the malarial area. You should continue the tablets throughout your stay and for seven days after leaving the area. If you vomit within one hour of taking a tablet, the active ingredient may not have been fully absorbed into your bloodstream. In this case you should take another tablet and then go on as before.
During your stay in a malarious region, you should also take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. If you sleep outdoors or in an unscreened room, you should use mosquito nets. You should also use an effective insect repellent (DEET) on clothing and any exposed skin. If you are outside after sunset, cover up bare areas with long-sleeved clothing, long trousers and socks to reduce the risk of mosquitoes biting.
Unless otherwise instructed by a doctor, the recommended dose to prevent malaria is:
- Adults and children weighing 40 kg or more: one 250/100-mg tablet once a day.
The appropriate dose for children weighing less than 40 kilos should be determined by a doctor.
The treatment of malaria requires a different dose. Read the package leaflet before use.
This anti-malaria medicine may have side effects, although not everyone gets them. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine.
- Gastrointestinal symptoms such as stomach ache or diarrhoea, especially at the start of treatment;
- Loss of appetite;
- Sleeping difficulties.
For more information, see the package leaflet.
When not to use Atovaquone-Proguanil
Atovaquone-Proguanil is not suitable for everyone. Do not use this anti-malaria medicine if:
- You are allergic to atovaquone, proguanil or any other ingredient in this medicine;
- You have severe kidney disease;
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding.
This medicine interacts with other medicines. The doctor will have a list of medicines that you should avoid mixing it with. It is therefore important to specify what medicines you are taking when you order, so that the doctor can advise you on this if necessary. See the package leaflet for more information about contraindications.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding/driving ability/alcohol
Do not use Atovaquone-Proguanil if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Pregnant or nursing mothers are advised to consult a doctor about a safer alternative.
This medicine may cause dizziness. Stay out of traffic if you experience this side effect.
This medicine does not interact with alcohol.