Drugs A - Z

Primaquine Phosphate Oral tablet

It is used to treat or prevent malaria infections.

Generic Name: primaquine

What is this medicine?

PRIMAQUINE (PRIM a kwin) is used to treat or prevent malaria infections.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • anemia or other blood disorders
  • glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency
  • lupus
  • taking quinacrine
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to primaquine, chloroquine, iodoquinol, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • grapefruit juice
  • quinacrine

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms do not start to get better in a few days. If you are taking this medicine for a long time, visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks. If you notice any changes in your vision see your eye doctor for an eye exam.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells.

While in areas where malaria is common, you should take steps to prevent being bit by mosquitos. This includes staying in air-conditioned or well-screened rooms to reduce human-mosquito contact, sleep under mosquito netting, preferably one with pyrethrum-containing insecticide, wear long-sleeved shirts or blouses and long trousers to protect arms and legs, apply mosquito repellents containing DEET to uncovered areas of skin, and use a pyrethrum-containing flying insect spray to kill mosquitos.

If your urine becomes a dark color, tell your prescriber or health care professional as soon as you can.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • dark urine
  • hallucination, loss of contact with reality
  • feeling faint or lightheaded
  • fever or infection
  • numbness, tingling
  • pale, discolored skin
  • seizures
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusually weak or tired

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • nausea, vomiting
  • stomach cramps, pain

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

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.


Last Updated: July 16, 2009
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