Atovaquone

Generic Name: atovaquone (a-TOE-va-kwone)
Brand Name: Mepron

Atovaquone is used for:

Preventing and treating Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) in patients who cannot take trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Atovaquone is an antiprotozoal. How it works to stop the growth of the protozoa is not fully understood. It may interfere with the metabolism of the protozoa by slowing or stopping its growth, which helps you to fight the infection.

Do NOT use atovaquone if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in atovaquone

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using atovaquone:

Some medical conditions may interact with atovaquone. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have any stomach, bowel, or liver problems

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with atovaquone. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Rifamycins (eg, rifabutin, rifampin) or tetracyclines (eg, doxycycline) because they may decrease atovaquone's effectiveness
  • Indinavir because its effectiveness may be decreased by atovaquone

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if atovaquone may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use atovaquone:

Use atovaquone as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take atovaquone by mouth with food or meals. The medicine may be less effective if it is not taken with food. If possible, include foods with a high fat content (eg, whole milk, cheese, ice cream, eggs, fried foods).
  • Shake gently before each use.
  • Use a measuring device marked for medicine dosing. Ask your pharmacist for help if you are unsure of how to measure your dose.
  • To clear up your infection completely, take atovaquone for the full course of treatment. Keep taking it even if you feel better in a few days.
  • If you miss a dose of atovaquone, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use atovaquone.

Important safety information:

  • Atovaquone may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use atovaquone with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Be sure to use atovaquone for the full course of treatment. If you do not, the medicine may not clear up your infection completely. The bacteria could also become less sensitive to this or other medicines. This could make the infection harder to treat in the future.
  • Lab tests, including complete blood cell counts and liver function tests, may be performed while you use atovaquone. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Atovaquone should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become or plan on becoming pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using atovaquone while pregnant. It is not known if atovaquone is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using atovaquone, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of atovaquone:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; difficulty sleeping; dizziness; headache; increased cough; increased sweating; indigestion; loss of appetite; muscle pain; nausea; runny or stuffy nose; stomach pain; vomiting; weakness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest or throat; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); anxiety; change in the amount of urine produced; dark urine; depression; fever; flu-like symptoms; pale stools; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; severe or persistent stomach pain; shortness of breath; unusual bruising or bleeding; white patches in the mouth; yellowing of the eyes or skin.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of atovaquone:

Store atovaquone at room temperature, between 59 and 77 degrees F (15 and 25 degrees C), in a tightly sealed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not freeze. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep atovaquone out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about atovaquone, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Atovaquone is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take atovaquone or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about atovaquone. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to atovaquone. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using atovaquone.

Issue Date: November 5, 2014
Database Edition 14.4.1.002
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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