What is Atovaquone/Proguanil?
Atovaquone/Proguanil hydrochloride is a generic medication used for malaria prophylaxis. Malarone is the branded version of this medication, which is used for the prophylaxis of falciparum malaria in areas of widespread mefloquine or chloroquine resistance. It is also used an alternative to Mefloquine or Doxycycline. It is particularly suitable for short trips to highly chloroquine-resistant areas because it needs to be taken only for 7 days after leaving an endemic area.
To establish whether malarone is the most appropriate antimalarial for your travel, we should seek correct advice from your local GP, pharmacist or travel nurse or use reliable websites such as fitfortravel website or alternatively contact us for further information.
How do I take Atovaquone/Proguanil tablets?
Atovaquone/Proguanil tablets are taken daily and should be started 1-2 days before entering endemic area and continued for 1 week after leaving. The tablets should be taken with or just after food or a meal at the same time each day.
What are the cautions associated with use of Atovaquone/Proguanil?
Although Atovaquone/Proguanil is a commonly used medication for the prevention of malaria, it is not suitable for everyone. Atovaquone/Proguanil should be used with caution or avoided in patients with certain conditions including:
- Allergy to Malarone or any of its constituents
- Diarrhea or vomiting as it may lead to a reduced absorption
- Kidney Problems
This medication should not be used if pregnant unless it is essential or in breastfeeding unless there is no suitable alternative.
What are the side effects of Atovaquone/Proguanil?
As with all medications, there is a risk that Atovaquone/Proguanil may cause some unwanted side effects, although not everyone will experience them. Side effects include:
- Dizziness: if affected you should not drive or operate machinery
- Vomiting: if this occurs within one hour of dosing a repeated dose should be taken
- Abdominal pain
- Allergic reaction: discontinue treatment and seek urgent medical attention
- Severe skin rash: contact your doctor immediately
Atovaquone/Proguanil can cause other side effects and if you would like further information please see the patient information leaflet or contact PostMyMeds.
Does Atovaquone/Proguanil provide 100% protection against Malaria?
As with all malaria prophylaxis medication, protection is not absolute so it is always essential to take prophylaxis regularly, avoid mosquito bites and immediately visit your doctor if you become ill within one year and especially within 3 months of return.
Can children take Atovaquone/Proguanil?
Children and adults weighing under 40kg can take Atovaquone/Proguanil Paediatric tablets but the daily dose will have to be calculated according to their weight.
Where can I find more information on Malaria and Atovaquone/Proguanil?
Please refer to the patient information leaflet (PIL) for further information on Atovaquone/Proguanil. You can find more information on Malaria on the conditions category page or contact us at PostMyMeds.