Malaria Home > Mode of Action of Primaquine

Primaquine is a medication used to prevent a malarial blood infection from returning (a malaria relapse). But what is the mode of action of primaquine and how does it work?
 
Once a person becomes infected with malaria, the malaria parasites travel to the liver to mature. When they are mature, the parasites enter the bloodstream, where they cause symptoms. Some types of malaria infections can stay in the liver for months, or even years, and cause repeated relapses, or return of symptoms.
 
Most antimalarial medications only kill the malaria parasites in the bloodstream. However, primaquine is specifically designed to cure malaria by killing the parasites in the liver, preventing the return of malaria. It is not known exactly how primaquine does this.
 
(For more information on how this drug works and its mode of action, click Primaquine. This article provides a complete overview of the drug, including information on dosing guidelines, general precautions, and potential side effects.)
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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