Malarone Warnings and Precautions
Before starting Malarone, be aware that this antimalarial medication can increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun. Other warnings and precautions with Malarone apply to people with certain allergies or medical conditions (such as liver disease). It's important to remember that this medicine may not be enough to prevent malaria on its own. You should still apply insect repellent, wear protective clothing, and use bed nets.
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking Malarone?Malarone® (atovaquone/proguanil) is a prescription medication used to prevent or treat malaria. You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking this medication if you have:
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- Liver disease, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver failure
- Recent vomiting or diarrhea
- Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Precautions and Warnings for MalaroneSome warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this drug include the following:
- Malarone may cause increases in liver enzymes, especially at the beginning of treatment. In rare cases, it has caused liver problems, including hepatitis and liver failure. If you experience any signs of liver problems, contact your healthcare provider immediately. Signs of liver problems or liver failure include the following:
- Dark urine
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in the upper part of the stomach
- Yellowing of the whites of the eyes or skin (jaundice)
- General feelings of discomfort.
- Diarrhea and vomiting may reduce the amount of Malarone your body absorbs. If you vomit within one hour of taking it, you should take another dose. You may need a medication called an antiemetic) to help prevent additional vomiting. If vomiting and diarrhea are persistent or severe, you may need to be given another medicine for malaria treatment.
- If you are taking Malarone to prevent malaria, and cannot complete the entire treatment course (before, during, and after travel), let your healthcare provider know. You will need another medicine to help prevent a malaria infection.
- Although Malarone helps prevent malaria, you can still get the disease while taking this medication. If you develop fever or flu-like symptoms while in a malaria area, or after returning, contact your healthcare provider immediately. Tell him or her you may have been exposed to malaria.
- This medication may increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun, causing you to burn more easily. Make sure to wear protective clothing, such as a hat, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt, or apply sunscreen when going outside.
- In very rare cases, Malarone has been reported to cause life-threatening skin rashes called Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN). If you notice any skin rash while taking this medication, contact your healthcare provider right away. He or she will tell you if you need to stop taking Malarone.
- Malarone alone may not be enough to prevent malaria. If you are in a malaria area, it is important that you also use other malaria prevention strategies, such as wearing insect repellent and protective clothing, and using bed nets. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider before you travel about other ways to help prevent this disease.
- Malarone may react with several other medications (see Malarone Drug Interactions).
- Malarone is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known (see Malarone and Pregnancy).
- This drug passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking it (see Malarone and Breastfeeding).