Malarone (atovaquone, proguanil
) is an antimalarial drug used in both prevention and treatment of malaria. It first appeared on the market in 2000.
Malarone stands apart from similar antimalarial treatments in that it has very few side effects. In addition to being rare, the few side effects reported are usually very mild.
Malaria is a potentially fatal disease caused a parasite which is transmitted to humans by mosquito bites. Once in the body the parasite infects blood cells and eventually spreads to organs. Malarone inhibits the growth and spread of the parasite.
Though most cases of malaria occur in sub-Saharan Africa, it is encountered in parts of Asia and South America as well. Young children, the elderly, and pregnant women are at the greatest risk of contracting malaria and becoming severely ill as a result.Preventing Malaria with Malarone:
Every effort should be made to take advantage of all available preventative measures when in an area where malaria is common. Even with treatment, malaria may cause serious illness and even death.
In addition to an antimalarial treatment like Malarone, use of insect repellent, protective clothing and mosquito netting should be utilized whenever possible.
When used for prevention, one Malarone tablet is taken once daily. Treatment should start several days before entering an area where malaria may be encountered. Continue taking one tablet a day for the duration of the stay, and for 7 days after leaving the area.
Pills should always be taken with fatty foods or fluids, such as whole milk. Tablets may be crushed and mixed into foods or liquids.
No antimalarial treatment is 100% effective at preventing malaria. Any person in a malaria zone who becomes delirious or ill with flu-like symptoms should receive emergency medical attention.
Malarone is suitable for young children and elderly patients. Speak with a physician or pharmacist for the ideal dosage.Treating Malaria with Malarone:
Dosage strength and duration of treatment will vary by individual when used to treat a malaria infection. In many cases a patient will be instructed to take multiple pills at a time for several days. Very sick patients will likely be hospitalized and given treatment intravenously.
As with preventative administration, Malarone should be taken with fatty foods or fluids. If the medication is vomited up within 60 minutes of administration, a full dose should be taken again.
Physician instructions should be followed carefully when treating malaria. Similar to antibiotics, patients often feel better before treatment is complete. Failure to continue treatment may lead to a resurgence of the illness and resistance to the medication.
Anyone infected with malaria may experience periodic relapses months or even years after the initial infection. Warnings and Side Effects:
Malarone is noted for its minimal occurrence and low severity of side effects. A few patients may experience mild weakness, dizziness, headaches and a persistent cough.
Very rarely some people have more serious adverse reactions, which should be brought to the attention of a physician:
- Excessive vomiting or diarrhea
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Mouth sores
- Severe rash
- Severe vertigo or dizziness
Persons with kidney or liver disease should discuss risks with a doctor before using Malarone.
Do not take Malarone in conjunction with other prescription medications, including other antimalarial treatments, without explicit instructions by a physician. Drug interactions may lead to dangerous side effects or reduced effectiveness.Ingredients:
Active ingredients: atovaquone, proguanil
Inactive ingredients: hypromellose, red iron oxide, hydroxypropyl cellulose, sodium starch glycolate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, titanium dioxide, poloxamer 188, povidone K30, polyethylene glycol 400 & 8000
Patients hypersensitive to any of the ingredients in Malarone should speak with a doctor or pharmacist about an alternative antimalarial treatment, such as Doxycycline