Malarone is approved for the treatment of malaria -- in particular, uncomplicated cases of malaria that are caused by a specific type of parasite. However, it can also be prescribed to prevent malaria. When using Malarone to prevent infection, you should still follow basic prevention strategies (such as using bed nets) to reduce your risk of contact with infected mosquitoes.
What Is Malarone Used For?Malarone® (atovaquone/proguanil) is a prescription medication licensed to treat uncomplicated malaria infections. It is also approved to help prevent malaria infections from occurring in the first place.
Malaria is a blood infection caused by a microscopic parasite called Plasmodium. It is a leading cause of death and disease worldwide, especially in developing countries. While there are more than 100 species of Plasmodium, only four types infect humans. These four types include:
- Plasmodium falciparum
- Plasmodium vivax
- Plasmodium ovale
- Plasmodium malariae.
Most people get malaria from the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito. Less commonly, the disease is spread through contact with infected blood. Malaria is not transmitted from person to person, like the common cold or the flu. You cannot get the disease from casual contact with an infected person (see Malaria Causes for more information).
Malaria symptoms typically begin 10 to 30 days after someone becomes infected. The disease can be categorized as uncomplicated or complicated, based on how severe the symptoms are. Symptoms range from mild in uncomplicated malaria to severe and life-threatening in complicated cases. Early or uncomplicated symptoms of malaria include:
If the disease progresses, malaria may become complicated or severe. These symptoms may include:
- Kidney failure
- Mental confusion
- Severe anemia
- Fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema)
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
- Bleeding due to blood clotting problems
Malarone is one of several medications used to treat malaria. It is approved to treat uncomplicated cases caused by Plasmodium falciparum.
The key to malaria treatment is starting early. With early treatment, the disease can be cured and the serious complications can be prevented. If treatment is delayed, it can be a severe, potentially fatal disease (see Malaria Treatment for more information).