Fansidar

1 What is Fansidar?

Brand: Fansidar

Generic: Sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine

Fansidar is an ultra-long-lasting sulphonamide used for the treatment and prevention of malaria. Sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine combination is only recommended for use as prophylaxis when other drugs are proven ineffective for a certain endemic area.

This drug requires a prescription.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Fansidar, the risks and benefits for your body should be discussed with your healthcare provider.

Inform your healthcare provider for any allergic reactions to these drugs or any other drugs, foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals.

Carefully read the label of non-prescription drugs for any possible allergic reaction or contraindications.

Sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine combination is contraindicated for use in infants up to 2 months of age. It is still unknown whether these drugs 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 data comparing use of Sulfadoxine and Pyrimethamine combination in the elderly with use in other age groups.
  • Adverse effects have been reported in animal studies but studies in pregnant women and animals are still inadequate.
  • Infant risk is still undetermined when using this drug during breastfeeding. Discuss with your healthcare professional about potential risks and benefits of taking this drug while breastfeeding.

Drugs should not be taken together to prevent any interactions but in necessary cases inquire your healthcare provider regarding the adjustments in dosage or any other necessary precautions to prevent any unwanted side effects.

Inform your healthcare professional if you are taking any other drugs such as:

  • Aurothioglucose
  • Methotrexate
  • Sulfamethoxazole
  • Trimethoprim
  • Zidovudine,
  • Lorazepam

Intake of specific food or using alcohol or tobacco with this drug is associated with an increased risk of certain side effects. Your healthcare professional can give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Inform your healthcare provider for any other medical problems such as anemia or other blood problems, kidney disease, liver disease, porphyria or seizure disorders.

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3 Proper Usage

Fansidar is contraindicated for use in infants younger than 2 months of age. Keep this drug out of the reach of children, since overdose is very dangerous in children. It is recommended to take this drug with a full glass of water to prevent some unwanted effects. It is recommended to take this drug with meals or a snack to prevent an upset stomach or vomiting.

Your healthcare professional may advise you to take this drug 1 to 2 weeks prior to travelling to an area reported with cases of malaria. This is done to check if you will develop any adverse reactions to this drug.

It is recommended to take this drug while you are in the area and for 4 weeks after you leave the area. This drug will not completely prevent the transmission of malaria. Take this drug for the full time as prescribed to decrease your risk of acquiring malaria.

Consult with your healthcare professional if you experience fever during your travels or within 2 months after you leave the area. This drug works optimally when taken in a regular schedule.

For patients with malaria, it is advised to take this drug exactly as directed by your healthcare professional. For patients taking this drug to self-treat presumed malaria, it is recommended to continue to take your other drug for malaria once a week.

The dose of this drug will be variable for different patients. The directions on the label or the prescription by your healthcare professional should be followed. The dosage of this drug you take depends on the medical problem for which you are using this drug. 

  • Adults and teenagers opting for self-treatment of presumed malaria are recommended to take 3 tablets as a single dose when they experience fever and medical care is not available.
  • Dose in children 2 months of age and older is based on body weight and must be determined by your healthcare professional. The dose may range from ВЅ tablet to 3 tablets taken as a single dose.
  • For prevention of malaria in adults and teenagers, it is recommended to take 1 tablet once every seven days or 2 tablets once every fourteen days.
  • Dose in children 2 months of age and older is based on body weight and must be determined by your healthcare professional. The dose may range from Вј tablet to Вѕ tablet taken once every seven days or ВЅ tablet to 1ВЅ tablets taken once every fourteen days.

A missed dose should be taken as soon as possible. However, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule if it is almost time for your next dose.

Store the drug in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Keep from freezing. Keep out of the reach of children.

Dispose any outdated or expired drugs and ask your healthcare professional for the proper disposal of the drugs.

4 Precautions to Take

In using Fansidar, you must be careful and take some precautions as advised by your doctor.

Check with your healthcare professional immediately if you experience:

  • skin rash, itching, redness, sores in the mouth or on the genitals, or sore throat while taking this drug

Malaria is spread by mosquitoes and it is recommended to follow mosquito-control measures such as sleeping under mosquito netting, wear long-sleeved shirts or blouses and long trousers, and applying mosquito repellant. Regular visits should be made to your healthcare provider to track your progress and to monitor the effectiveness and unwanted effects of the drug.

Your healthcare professional may advise you take leucovorin if this drug causes anemia. Sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine combination may cause blood problems which can manifest as infections, slow healing, and bleeding of the gums.

Caution must be given when using regular toothbrushes, dental floss, and toothpicks.

It is recommended to delay any dental work until your blood counts have returned to normal. Sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine combination may increase your sensitivity to sunlight which can manifest as skin rash, itching, redness or other discoloration of the skin, or severe sunburn.

It is recommended to stay out of direct sunlight, especially between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., wear protective clothing and apply sun block product that has a skin protection factor (SPF) of at least 15.

Consult with your healthcare professional if you have a severe reaction from the sun.

Seek immediate medical attention immediately if your symptoms do not improve within 48 hours.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Fansidar.

Side effects may vary for each individual and prompt medical attention should be given if they occur. Seek advice from your healthcare professional immediately if you experience any unusual symptoms.

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine, the side effects will slowly disappear. Ask your healthcare professional about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

If any of the following side effects persists, or are inconvenient, or if you notice any other effects, or if you have any questions about them, consult with your health care professional.

Report any side effects to the FDA hotline at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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