primaquine (Oral route)

PRIM-a-kwin

Oral route(Tablet)

Warning: Physicians should completely familiarize themselves with the complete contents of this leaflet before prescribing primaquine phosphate .

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Tablet

Therapeutic Class: Antimalarial

Chemical Class: Aminoquinoline

Uses For primaquine

Primaquine belongs to the group of medicines called antiprotozoals. It is used in the treatment of malaria, a red blood cell infection transmitted by the bite of a mosquito.

Malaria transmission occurs in large areas of Central and South America, Hispaniola, sub-Saharan Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Oceania. Country-specific information on malaria can be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), or from the CDC's web site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbk.

Primaquine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although this use is not included in product labeling, primaquine is used in certain patients with the following medical condition:

  • Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP)

Before Using primaquine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For primaquine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to primaquine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Children should avoid traveling to areas where there is a chance of getting malaria, unless they can take effective antimalarial medicines such as primaquine.

Geriatric

Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of primaquine in the elderly with use in other age groups.

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Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Interactions with Medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking primaquine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using primaquine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

  • Aurothioglucose
  • Levomethadyl

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of primaquine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Family or personal history of favism or hemolytic anemia or
  • Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency or
  • Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) methemoglobin reductase deficiency—Patients with any of these medical problems who take primaquine may have an increased chance of side effects affecting the blood.

Proper Use of primaquine

If primaquine upsets your stomach, it may be taken with meals or with antacids. If stomach upset (nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain) continues, check with your doctor.

If you are taking primaquine for malaria, keep taking it for the full time of treatment to help prevent or completely clear up the infection. Do not miss any doses.

Dosing

The dose of primaquine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of primaquine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For malaria:
    • For oral dosage form (tablets):
      • Adults and older children: 15 milligrams (mg) once a day for 14 days.
      • Younger children: Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of primaquine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Precautions While Using primaquine

Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits to make sure that primaquine is not causing blood problems.

primaquine Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
  • Back, leg, or stomach pains
  • dark urine
  • fever
  • loss of appetite
  • pale skin
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
Less common
  • Bluish fingernails, lips, or skin
  • difficulty breathing
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
Rare
  • Sore throat and fever

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
  • Cramps
  • nausea or vomiting

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

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