Free Nutritional Health Information and Tools

Atovaquone and Proguanil (Systemic)

Home PageTable Of ContentsPrevious PageNext Page

Atovaquone and Proguanil (Systemic)

US Brand Names

• Malarone


Antiprotozoals ((AN-ti-pro-to-ZO-uls)) are medicines that are used to prevent and treat malaria, a red blood cell infection transmitted by the bite of a mosquito. This medicine is a combination of two medicines, atovaquone (a-TOE-va-kwone) and proguanil (pro-GWAN-il) .

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage form:


    • Tablets (U.S.)

Special Considerations

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 atovaquone and proguanil , the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to atovaquone or proguanil hydrochloride. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as preservatives or dyes.


Atovaquone and proguanil combination has not been studied in pregnant women. However, this medicine has not been shown to cause birth defects or other problems in animal studies. Before taking this medicine, make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or if you may become pregnant It is advisable for pregnant women to avoid traveling to areas where there is a chance of getting malaria.


It is not known if atovaquone passes into human breast milk, but it was found in the milk of rats. Proguanil passes into breast milk, but in small quantities. Be sure you have discussed the risks and benefits of this medicine with your doctor.


Studies on this medicine have been done only in patients who weigh more than 25 pounds (11 kilograms [kg]) and there is no specific information comparing use of atovaquone and proguanil combination in patients of lesser weight.

Older adults

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 atovaquone and proguanil in the elderly with use in other age groups.

Other 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 atovaquone and proguanil, it is especially important that your health care professional know if you are taking any of the following:

    • Rifampin (e.g., Rifadin)-Use of rifampin may decrease the amount of atovaquone in the blood and keep it from working properly

    • Metoclopramide (e.g., Reglan)-Use of metoclopramide with atovaquone and proguanil may lessen the amount of atovaquone your body absorbs

    • Tetracycline (e.g., Sumycin)-Use of tetracycline lowers the amount of atovaquone in your blood.

Other medical problems

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

    • Diarrhea or vomiting-The amount of atovaquone and proguanil the body can absorb may be decreased.

    • Kidney disease or failure-The amount of atovaquone and proguanil the body can eliminate may be decreased.

    • Return of previously treated malaria-Atovaquone and proguanil may not work in treating the malaria again; your doctor may need to give you another type of medicine


Be sure to take this medicine at the same time each day.

Take this medicine with food or with a milky drink. This will help your body absorb the maximal amount of medicine.

If you vomit within 1 hour of taking this medicine, take the entire dose again as soon as your stomach can tolerate it.


The dose of atovaquone and proguanil 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 atovaquone and proguanil. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The number of tablets 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 taking atovaquone and proguanil.

    • For oral dosage form (tablets):

      o For malaria prevention:

        Adults-250 milligrams (mg) of atovaquone and 100 mg proguanil (1 adult strength tablet) per day, starting 1-2 days before entering malarial area and continuing for 7 days following return..

        Children weighing 25 pounds (11 kilograms [kg]) or more-Dosage is according to weight and will be determined by your doctor.

        Children weighing less than 25 pounds (11 kg)-Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

      o For malaria treatment:

        Adults-1 gram of atovaquone and 400 mg of proguanil (4 adult strength tablets) once daily as a single dose taken three days in a row.

        Children weighing 25 pounds (11 kg) or more-Dosage is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor.

        Children weighing less than 25 pounds (11 kg)-Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible.Contact your doctor as soon as possible for additional instructions since you may need additional protective measures.


To store this medicine:

    • Keep out of the reach of children.

    • Store at room temperature.

    • Do not store in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down.

    • Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Ask your health care professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.


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:

    • Remain in air-conditioned or well-screened rooms to reduce contact with mosquitoes.

    • If possible, sleep under mosquito netting, preferably netting coated or soaked with permethrin, to avoid being bitten by malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

    • Wear long-sleeved shirts or blouses and long trousers to protect your arms and legs, especially from dusk through dawn when mosquitoes are out.

    • Apply mosquito repellent, preferably one containing DEET, to uncovered areas of the skin from dusk through dawn when mosquitoes are out.

    • Use a pyrethrum-containing flying insect spray to kill mosquitoes in living and sleeping quarters during evening and nighttime hours.

Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. 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. However, check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome :

More common

Abdominal pain; back pain; coughing; diarrhea; fever; headache; itching skin (pediatrics only); lack of or loss of strength; nausea; muscle pain; sore throat; sneezing; vomiting.

Less common

Acid or sour stomach; belching; dizziness; flu like symptoms; heartburn; indigestion; loss of appetite; stomach discomfort, upset or pain; weight loss.

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

November 03, 2000

Top Of PageHome PageTable Of ContentsPrevious PageNext Page