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Tafenoquine (Oral)

Generic name: tafenoquine [ ta-FEN-oh-kwin ]
Brand names: Arakoda, Krintafel
Drug class: Antimalarial quinolines

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Oct 20, 2023.

Uses for tafenoquine

Tafenoquine is used to prevent malaria. It is also used to prevent malaria from coming back after treatment (relapse) in patients who are receiving chloroquine treatment for acute malaria.

Tafenoquine belongs to a group of medicines, called antiprotozoals. It works by treating malaria, a red blood cell infection transmitted by the bite of a mosquito. It also prevents the development of the blood forms of the parasite, which are responsible for the relapse.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before using tafenoquine

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 this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine 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

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of Arakoda™ in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of Krintafel™ in children 16 years of age and older. Safety and efficacy have been established.

Geriatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of tafenoquine in the elderly.

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 this medicine, 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 this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

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. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

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

Proper use of tafenoquine

Take this medicine only as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.

This medicine comes with a Medication Guide or patient information leaflet. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

Swallow the tablet whole. Do not break, crush, or chew it.

Take this medicine with food.

You may need to start using Arakoda™ 3 days before you start your trip. You may also need to keep using this medicine for up to 6 months after you get home. Ask your doctor about your schedule.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine 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 this medicine. 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.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, 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.

Arakoda™:

Krintafel™: If you vomit within 1 hour after taking a dose of this medicine, you may take a second dose. Do not take more than 2 doses of this medicine.

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.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Precautions while using tafenoquine

It is very important that your doctor check your or your child's progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood and urine tests are needed to check for unwanted effects.

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. If you are a woman who can get pregnant, your doctor may do tests to make sure you are not pregnant before starting treatment. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant during treatment with this medicine and for at least 3 months after the last dose. If you think you have become pregnant while using this medicine, tell your doctor right away.

Before taking this medicine, you and your child should be tested for G6PD deficiency or favism (blood disorder). Tafenoquine may cause hemolytic anemia in patients with these conditions. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about this.

This medicine may cause some people to be agitated, irritable, or display other abnormal behaviors. Make sure the doctor knows if you have trouble sleeping, get upset easily, have a big increase in energy, or start to act reckless. Also tell the doctor if you have sudden or strong feelings, such as feeling nervous, angry, restless, violent, or scared. If you or your caregiver notice any of these side effects, tell your doctor right away.

This medicine may cause a serious allergic reaction, including angioedema, which can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, hoarseness, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or genitals.

Malaria is spread by the bites of certain kinds of infected female mosquitoes. If you are living in or will be traveling to an area where there is a chance of getting malaria, the following mosquito-control measures will help to prevent infection:

Do not use Krintafel™ with medicines to treat malaria other than chloroquine.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Side Effects of tafenoquine

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

Less common

Rare

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

Less common

Rare

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.

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

Available Dosage Forms:

Therapeutic Class: Antimalarial

Chemical Class: Aminoquinoline

Frequently asked questions

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.