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halofantrine

Generic Name: halofantrine (hah low FAN treen)
Brand Name: Halfan

What is halofantrine?

Halofantrine is an antimalarial drug. The exact way that halofantrine works is unknown.

Halofantrine is used to treat malaria.

Halofantrine may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about halofantrine?

In rare cases, halofantrine may affect the heart, causing irregular heartbeats that could result in death. Do not take halofantrine if you have a heart condition such as an irregular heartbeats or a history of irregular heartbeats; a history of prolonged QT intervals; a family history of congenital long QT syndrome; heart block or other conduction disturbances; or unexplained episodes of fainting. These conditions may increase the risk of irregular heartbeats and death while taking halofantrine.

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Take halofantrine on an empty stomach, at least one hour before or two hours after food. Taking halofantrine with food may increase the risk of irregular heartbeats.

Use caution when driving or performing other hazardous activities. Halofantrine may cause dizziness. If you experience dizziness, avoid these activities.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking halofantrine?

In rare cases, halofantrine may affect the heart, causing irregular heartbeats that could result in death. Do not take halofantrine if you have a heart condition such as an irregular heartbeats or a history of irregular heartbeats; a history of prolonged QT intervals; a family history of congenital long QT syndrome; heart block or other conduction disturbances; or unexplained episodes of fainting. These conditions may increase the risk of irregular heartbeats and death while taking halofantrine.

Before taking halofantrine, tell your doctor if you have

  • liver disease; or

  • kidney disease.

You may not be able to take halofantrine, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have either of the conditions listed above.

Halofantrine is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether it will be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take halofantrine without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether halofantrine passes into breast milk. Do not take halofantrine without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take halofantrine?

Take halofantrine exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass of water.

Take halofantrine on an empty stomach, at least one hour before or two hours after food. Taking halofantrine with food may increase the risk of irregular heartbeats.

Store halofantrine at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Contact your doctor if you miss a dose of halofantrine.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if an overdose of halofantrine is suspected.

Symptoms of a halofantrine overdose may include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and cramping, diarrhea, decreased consciousness, seizures, and irregular heartbeats.

What should I avoid while taking halofantrine?

Use caution when driving or performing other hazardous activities. Halofantrine may cause dizziness. If you experience dizziness, avoid these activities.

Halofantrine side effects

Stop taking halofantrine and seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following serious side effects:

  • an allergic reaction (swelling of the lips, face, or tongue; shortness of breath; difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; or hives);

  • fast or irregular heartbeats;

  • fluttering feeling in the chest;

  • lightheadedness or fainting;

  • chest pain;

  • decreased consciousness; or

  • seizures.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take halofantrine and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite;

  • abdominal pain;

  • dizziness;

  • headache;

  • cough;

  • itching;

  • shivering or tremors; or

  • muscle aches.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Halofantrine dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Malaria:

Mild to moderate Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax malaria:
Nonimmune patients: 500 mg orally every 6 hours for 3 doses; repeat course in 7 days.

Semi-immune patients: 500 mg orally every 6 hours for 3 doses. Consideration may be given to omitting the second course.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Malaria:

Mild to moderate Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax malaria:

<18 years, <40 kg: 8 mg/kg orally every 6 hours for 3 doses. Repeat course in 7 days if patient is nonimmune.

<18 years, >=40 kg:
Nonimmune patients: 500 mg orally every 6 hours for 3 doses; repeat course in 7 days.

Semi-immune patients: 500 mg orally every 6 hours for 3 doses. Consideration may be given to omitting the second course.

What other drugs will affect halofantrine?

Halofantrine should not be taken during or immediately following treatment with mefloquine (Lariam). Taking these medications together may increase the risk of potentially fatal irregular heartbeats.

Do not take any other prescription or over-the counter medicines, including herbal products during treatment with halofantrine without first talking to your doctor. Many other medications may affect the way the heart beats or increase the effects of halofantrine, possibly resulting in dangerous irregular heartbeats if taken during treatment with halofantrine.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has more information about halofantrine written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Halofantrine is available with a prescription under the brand name Halfan in 250 mg white, to off-white, capsule-shaped tablets. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.03. Revision Date: 2/13/04 4:09:38 PM.

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