Malarone tablets contain two active ingredients, proguanil and atovaquone. These are both medicines that are active against the parasite that causes malaria.
Malarone is used:
- To prevent malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum in people weighing over 40kg.
- To treat uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in adults weighing over 40kg.
Malaria is a potentially fatal disease caused by various types of parasites known as plasmodia. Plasmodia are carried by mosquitoes and injected into the bloodstream during a bite from an infected insect. Once inside the body the parasite reproduces, resulting in the disease.
Proguanil hydrochloride works by stopping the parasite from reproducing once it is in the bloodstream. It does this by blocking the action of an enzyme in the Plasmodium parasite that is vital for the production of new DNA material. By blocking the production of DNA, proguanil prevents malarial parasites in the blood from reproducing.
Atovaquone also works by interfering with the production of substances needed by the malarial parasites to reproduce. It works in a slightly different way however, so these two medicines work in combination against the Plasmodium parasite.
Malarone is used to prevent malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum. This parasite produces the most serious form of malaria (malignant malaria). It may be particularly useful for preventing malaria in travellers to areas where this parasite is known to be resistant to other antimalarial medicines, such as chloroquine.
Higher doses of Malarone are used to treat uncomplicated malaria caused by infection with the Plasmodium falciparum parasite. However, this combination of medicines has not been evaluated for the treatment of more complicated or severe malaria, affecting the brain, lungs or kidneys.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated Malarone:
Very common (affect more than 1 in 10 people)
- Disturbances of the gut such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea or abdominal pain.
Common (affect between 1 in 10 and 1 in 100 people)
- Loss of appetite.
- Difficulty sleeping (insomnia).
- Abnormal dreams.
- Rash or itching.
- Low red blood cell count (anaemia).
Uncommon (affect between 1 in 100 and 1 in 1000 people)
- Inflammation of the lining of the mouth (stomatitis).
- Hair loss (alopecia).
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.
For more information about any other possible risks associated with Malarone, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Malarone should be used with caution in:
- Treatment of malaria in people with severely decreased kidney function (this medicine should only be used if there are no other suitable options).
- Treatment of malaria in people with diarrhoea and vomiting (the patient's condition must be monitored closely, because vomiting and diarrhoea could make this medicine less effective at treating the malaria).
Malarone should NOT be used in:
- Prevention of malaria in people with severely decreased kidney function.
- Malarone tablets are not recommended for preventing malaria in people who weigh less than 40kg, or for treating malaria in children who weigh less than 11kg. Malarone paediatric tablets can be used for this age.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using Malarone and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
The patient information leaflet (PIL) is a leaflet containing specific information about medical conditions, doses and side effects. You can download a copy of the PIL here:
Patient Info Leaflet