Skip to Content

Atovaquone

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

Medically reviewed: March 8, 2018

What is atovaquone?

Atovaquone interferes with the reproduction of protozoa (single-cell organisms) that can cause disease in the body.

Atovaquone is used to treat or prevent pneumonia caused by a fungal infection called Pneumocystis carinii (also called Pneumocystis jiroveci).

This medicine is for use in adults and children who are at least 13 years old.

Atovaquone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use atovaquone if you are allergic to it.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It may not be safe to breast-feed a baby while you are using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risks.

How should I take atovaquone?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Take with food.

Shake the oral suspension (liquid) before you measure a dose. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).

If you are taking a pre-measured dose from a foil pouch, use all of the medicine in the pouch. You may drink it directly from the pouch or pour it into a spoon or cup before taking.

Take atovaquone for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve.

Store at cool room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not freeze.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking atovaquone?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Atovaquone side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling).

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • liver problems--loss of appetite, stomach pain (upper right side), tiredness, dark urine, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Common side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Atovaquone dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Pneumocystis Pneumonia:

750 mg orally twice a day for 21 days
Alternative therapy may be needed if arterial blood gas values do not improve or worsen after 7 to 10 days of therapy, or if the clinical status declines after 4 days.

Usual Adult Dose for Pneumocystis Pneumonia Prophylaxis:

1500 mg orally once a day

Usual Adult Dose for Babesiosis:

750 mg orally twice a day with azithromycin (500 to 600 mg on day 1, followed by 250 to 600 mg once a day thereafter or 1000 mg once a day for 3 days, followed by 500 mg once a day thereafter) for 7 to 10 days

Usual Adult Dose for Malaria:

500 to 750 mg orally every 12 hours for 7 days; should be used in combination with other antimalarial agents

Usual Adult Dose for Toxoplasmosis:

750 mg orally every 6 hours for 2 to 6 months
Similar doses given every 6 to 8 hours are used for toxoplasmosis maintenance therapy.

Atovaquone is considered second-line therapy for toxoplasmosis. It should be administered in combination with pyrimethamine and leucovorin, with sulfadiazine, or as a single agent in patients intolerant of pyrimethamine with sulfadiazine.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Pneumocystis Pneumonia:

1 month to 12 years: 20 mg/kg orally twice a day
13 years or older: 750 mg orally twice a day for 21 days

Maximum dose: 1500 mg/day

Usual Pediatric Dose for Pneumocystis Pneumonia Prophylaxis:

1 to 3 months: 30 mg/kg orally once a day
4 months up to 2 years: 45 mg/kg orally once a day
2 to 12 years: 30 mg/kg orally once a day
13 years or older: 1500 mg orally once a day

Maximum dose: 1500 mg/day

Usual Pediatric Dose for Babesiosis:

1 to 12 years: 20 mg/kg orally twice a day with azithromycin (12 mg/kg once a day) for 7 to 10 days
13 years or older: 750 mg orally twice a day with azithromycin (500 to 600 mg on day 1, followed by 250 to 600 mg once a day thereafter or 1000 mg once a day for 3 days, followed by 500 mg once a day thereafter) for 7 to 10 days

Maximum dose: 1500 mg/day

What other drugs will affect atovaquone?

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.

Other drugs may affect atovaquone, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

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.

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

Hide