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Hemolytic reactions (moderate to severe) may occur in individuals with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD) deficiency and in individuals with a family or personal history of favism. Areas of high prevalence of G-6-PD deficiency are Africa, Southern Europe, Mediterranean region, Middle East, South-East Asia, and Oceania. People from these regions have a greater tendency to develop hemolytic anemia (due to a congenital deficiency of erythrocytic glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase) while receiving Primaquine (phosphate tablets) and related drugs.
Usage in Pregnancy
Safe usage of this preparation in pregnancy has not been established. Therefore, use of it during pregnancy should be avoided except when in the judgment of the physician the benefit outweighs the possible hazard.
Since anemia, methemoglobinemia, and leukopenia have been observed following administration of large doses of primaquine (phosphate tablets) , the adult dosage of 1 tablet (= 15 mg base) daily for fourteen days should not be exceeded. It is also advisable to make routine blood examinations (particularly blood cell counts and hemoglobin determinations) during therapy.
If primaquine phosphate is prescribed for (1) an individual who has shown a previous idiosyncrasy to primaquine phosphate (as manifested by hemolytic anemia, methemoglobinemia, or leukopenia), (2) an individual with a family or personal history of favism, or (3) an individual with erythrocytic glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD) deficiency or nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) methemoglobin reductase deficiency, the person should be observed closely for tolerance. The drug should be discontinued immediately if marked darkening of the urine or sudden decrease in hemoglobin concentration or leukocyte count occurs.
Clinical studies of Primaquine (phosphate tablets) did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.
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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