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Atovaquone/Proguanil (also known as Malarone)

Antimalarial tablets must always be used alongside mosquito bite avoidance measures. These two measures together give you the best protection from malaria. However, rarely infection from malaria can still occur. 

If you develop symptoms of malaria during your trip, or on return home, you must seek medical attention urgently, even if you have been taking your antimalarial tablets.

Preparation

The following tablets contain 250mg atovaquone, and 100mg proguanil hydrochloride and are all licensed in the UK for malaria chemoprophylaxis.

  • Atovaquone/Proguanil 250 mg/100 mg film-coated tablets​
  • Malarone  250 mg/100 mg film-coated tablets​
  • Maloff Protect 250 mg/100 mg tablets​– available to buy over the counter in pharmacies

Children’s lower strength tablets are also available:

  • Malarone paediatric 62.5 mg/25 mg film-coated tablets 

Dose

  • The adult dose is one tablet taken once daily.
  • The child dose is determined by your child’s weight. This should be discussed with your doctor.

Patient information leaflet (PIL)

You should always read the manufacturer’s patient information leaflet (PIL) before taking any medications. The PIL lists the possible side effects of the medication and also lists medicines that may be affected by taking it.

If you are regularly taking other medications (even over the counter tablets), you should always discuss this with your doctor or pharmacist to ensure it is safe to take atovaquone/proguanil.

How to take the medicine

The course should be started 1 or 2 days before entering a country with a risk of malaria; taken daily for the entire duration of your stay; and continued for 7 days after leaving the affected area.

  • The tablets should be taken with food at the same time each day:
    • If you miss a dose or vomit within one hour of taking your tablets, you should take another dose as soon as possible and carry on with the schedule (you may have to get more tablets).
    • If you have diarrhoea, you should continue taking your tablets as normal. The amount of drug absorbed into your blood stream might be reduced in this instance, therefore you should be extra careful in protecting yourself from bites.
  • It is very important to complete the course.
  • Evidence has shown this medication can be safely used continuously for periods up to 1 year (and possibly longer).

Other considerations

If you suffer from kidney disease, you should be assessed carefully before taking atovaquone/proguanil.

If you are pregnant or breast feeding, you should always speak to your midwife or doctor for advice before taking anti-malarial medications or travelling to a malaria-endemic country.

You should try to avoid becoming pregnant (conceiving) for 2 weeks after stopping this medication as the drug might still be in your system.

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