1 What is Primaquine?

Brand: Primaquine

Generic: Primaquin+2:19e

Primaquine is a prescription-only antiprotozoal agent used to treat malaria, a serious disease of blood transmitted through mosquito bites.

For more information on malaria, you may visit the website of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at

Though not mentioned on the product labels, your doctor based on his/her experience may use primaquine to:

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Primaquine, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. Together with your doctor, you can decide whether the medication will do you more goods than the harms. Here are some factors to be considered before deciding to use this medicine:

  • Allergies: Inform your doctor about the allergies you have, such as to this medication, other medications, or to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
  • Pediatric: Consult your doctor before using primaquine in your children. Use only when the benefits outweigh potential risks.
  • Geriatric: Not enough is known about the effects of primaquine in elderly people.
  • Pregnancy: Primaquine has not been officially assigned a pregnancy category. Use only when the benefits outweigh potential risks.
  • Breastfeeding: Since not enough is known about the potential risk to an infant when this medicine is taken by a nursing mother, consult your doctor to know if benefits outweigh risks.
  • Drug Interactions: Taking two medicines together can be harmful due to possible interactions. In other cases, even if there is a possible interaction between two medicines your doctor may advise you to take them together after adjusting the dose or issuing precautions. Following medicines are not recommended to be used with primaquine. Inform your doctor if you are using any of these medicines:

        o Aurothioglucose
        o Levomethadyl

  • Other Interactions: Taking your medicine together with certain foods or items such as alcohol or tobacco may cause undesirable interactions. Talk to your doctor to know if using this medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco is safe.
  • Medical Problems: Certain medical conditions might influence the effects (both positive and adverse) and action of primaquine. DO NOT forget to inform your doctor about the following conditions:

        o Hemolytic anemia
        o Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency (Favism)
        o Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) methemoglobin reductase deficiency

3 Proper Usage

To use Primaquine properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. Here are some points to watch for:

  • Use only as directed and complete the course.
  • Do not skip any dose.
  • You may take it with meals to reduce chances of GI symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or abdominal discomfort. Consult your doctor if these symptoms persist.


For best results, follow your doctor to know what amount of medicine you should take in a single dose. The doses of a medicine can differ according to the conditions for which it is being prescribed. If not stated otherwise, the doses here refer to an average dose. Remember your doses can differ.

For malaria, the doses of primaquine tablets are:

  • Adults and older children: 15 milligrams (mg) once daily for 2 weeks
  • Younger children: Your doctor will decide the dose based on body weight

Missed Dose:

Take your missed dose once you remember but avoid it if it’s time to take your next dose, and follow your normal dosing schedule. Avoid taking double doses to make up for the missed dose.


  • Store in a closed container at room temperature.
  • Keep away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Do not freeze.
  • Keep away from children.
  • Discard any unused or expired medicines.

4 Precautions to Take

In using Primaquine, you must be careful and take some precautions as advised by your doctor. Your progress should be regularly monitored to determine if you develop blood problems.

  • If you are going for a surgery, dental care or other medical care, inform your doctor or dentist about your intake of primaquine beforehand.
  • Follow what your doctor says. Do not discontinue any medicine unless suggested by your doctor.

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