Primaquine belongs to a group of drugs called the antimalarials. It is used to treat malaria in an infected person.
Malaria is caused by an organism which is classed as a protozoa and is a parasite which is carried by mosquitoes. During a bite from a mosquito, the parasite passes into the body. Once inside, it lives and reproduces. This results in the infection known as malaria. Primaquine acts by interfering with a part of the parasite (mitochondria) that is responsible for supplying it with energy. Without energy the parasite dies. This stops the infection from continuing and allows the person to recover.
Take primaquine exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.
Take each dose of primaquine with or immediately after meal with a full glass (250 ml) of water to avoid gastric upset.
Do not skip any doses of primaquin. Continue to take it even when you feel better. You must complete the entire course of medication. If you don't, the infection will not clear completely and in due course may cause recurrence of the disease.
Stop taking Primaquine and seek emergency medical attention if you experience an allergic reaction (flushing; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face, difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; vision problems; a rash; or itching).
Notify your doctor if you experience darkening of your urine.
Nausea, stomach pain or upset, vomiting, and loss of appetite may also occur during therapy.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur.
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have:
- a history of an allergic reaction to previous primaquine therapy,
- glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD) deficiency,
- rheumatoid arthritis,
- lupus erythematosus, or
- quinacrine (Atabrine) therapy.
Use caution when driving or performing other hazardous activities until you know how this medication affects you. Primaquine may cause visual disturbances such as blurred vision, misty vision, and difficulty focusing. Report any vision or hearing changes to your doctor.
Do not take Primaquine if you have recently taken quinacrine (Atabrine). These two drugs are similar and can cause dangerous side effects if they are taken together.
Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with Primaquine.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and only take your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.
Store Primaquine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.