Primaquine

Generic Name: primaquine (PRIM-a-kwin)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.

Primaquine is used for:

Preventing a relapse of malaria caused by the vivax malaria organism. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Primaquine is an aminoquinoline. It works by preventing the development of the blood forms of the organism, which cause relapses of vivax malaria.

Do NOT use primaquine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in primaquine
  • you have rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or certain blood problems (eg, granulocytopenia)
  • you have recently taken quinacrine

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

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Before using primaquine:

Some medical conditions may interact with primaquine. 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 a personal or family history of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD) deficiency, porphyria, or any other blood disease
  • if you have psoriasis, digestive system disease, liver disease, or a central nervous system disease

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

  • Quinacrine because it may increase the risk of primaquine's side effects
  • Rabies vaccine or thyroid hormones (eg, levothyroxine) because their effectiveness may be decreased by primaquine

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if primaquine 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 primaquine:

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

  • Take primaquine by mouth with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
  • If you miss a dose of primaquine, 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 primaquine.

Important safety information:

  • If your symptoms do not get better or if they get worse, check with your doctor.
  • Lab tests, including complete blood cell counts, may be performed while you use primaquine. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using primaquine while you are pregnant. Primaquine is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking primaquine.

Possible side effects of primaquine:

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:

Nausea; stomach cramps; upset stomach; vomiting.

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; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); dark urine; fast or irregular heartbeat; unusual bleeding or bruising; unusual tiredness or weakness.

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. Symptoms may include irregular heartbeat; severe, burning stomach pain; stomach cramps.

Proper storage of primaquine:

Store primaquine at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C), in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep primaquine out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about primaquine, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Primaquine 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 primaquine 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 primaquine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to primaquine. 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 primaquine.

Issue Date: December 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.4.1.003
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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