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Primaquine phosphate is an 8-amino-quinoline compound which eliminates tissue (exoerythrocytic) infection. Thereby, it prevents the development of the blood (erythrocytic) forms of the parasite which are responsible for relapses in vivax malaria. Primaquine phosphate is also active against gametocytes of Plasmodium falciparum.
Malariologists agree that malaria produced by Plasmodium vivax is the most difficult form to treat. This is ascribed to the ability of the parasite to develop extremely resistant tissue forms which are not eradicated by ordinary antimalarial compounds.
Thus, persons with acute attacks of vivax malaria, provoked by the release of erythrocytic forms of the parasite, respond readily to therapy, particularly to Chloroquine phosphate. However, prior to the discovery of primaquine phosphate, no antimalarial drug was available that could be relied on to eliminate tissue (exoerythrocytic) infection and to prevent relapses. The various investigations made with primaquine (phosphate tablets) in experimentally induced vivax malaria in human volunteers and in persons with naturally occurring infections have demonstrated that the drug is a valuable adjunct to conventional therapy in this refractory form of the disease.
Last reviewed on RxList: 9/25/2008
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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