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Primaquine information from DrugsUpdate  

See Available Brands of Primaquine in India

P - Contraindicated in pregnancy
L - Contraindicated in lactation

Primaquine (or primaquine phosphate) is a medication used in the treatment of malaria and Pneumocystis pneumonia. It is a member of the 8-aminoquinoline group of drugs that includes tafenoquine and pamaquine.



Primaquine is an 8-aminoquinoline antimalarial which eliminates the exoerythrocytic forms of malarial parasite P.vivax, P. falciparum by disrupting mitochondria and binding to DNA. By this action primaquine achieves radical cure of vivax malaria. It is also active against gametocytes of P.falciparum.


Readily absorbed from the GIT; peak plasma concentrations after 1-2 hours (oral).

Widely distributed throughout body tissues. Protein-binding: 98%

Hepatic; converted to carboxyprimaquine (major metabolite).

Urine (as unchanged drug); 3-6 hours (elimination half-life).

Primaquine Indications / Primaquine Uses

Information Not Available

Primaquine Adverse Reactions / Primaquine Side Effects

Nausea, vomiting, epigastric distress, abdominal cramps, leukopaenia, leucocytosis, agranulocytosis, methaemoglobinemia in NADH methaemoglobin reductase-deficient individuals.

Potentially Fatal: Haemolytic anaemia (G6PD deficient), thrombocytopaenia, leucopaenia, AV block.


Information Not Available

Special Precautions

G6PD deficiency; pregnancy; NADH methaemoglobin reductase deficient patients. Monitor Hb levels and blood counts routinely. Patients with systemic diseases that have an increased risk of granulocytopenia. Withdraw treatment if signs of haemolysis or methaemogloinaemia occur.

Other Drug Interactions

Primaquine may inhibit metabolism of chloroquine. Avoid ethanol.

Potentially Fatal: Mepacrine may potentiate toxicity of primaquine. Potentially haemolytic drugs eg, sulphonamides, nitrofurans and bone marrow suppressants eg, methotrexate, phenylbutazone, chloramphenicol should not be co-admin with primaquine.

Other Interactions

Information Not Available


Radical treatment of vivax or ovale malaria
Adult: A course of treatment with a blood schizontocide should be given first to kill any erythrocytic parasites. 15 mg daily for 14 days, increased to higher doses or longer course if resistance in P.vivax occurs.
Child: 250 mcg/kg daily for 14 days.

Prophylaxis of chloroquine-resistant malaria
Adult: 30 mg once daily; to be started 1-2 days before travel and continue for 7 days after departure from the malaria-endemic area.
Child: 0.5 mg/kg once daily for 14 days. Max: 30 mg/day. Alternatively, for patients with mild G6PD deficiency: 45 mg once weekly for 8 weeks.

Special Populations
For patients with G6PD deficiency: Adult: 30-45 mg/dose and children: 500-750 mcg/kg/dose. Dose to be taken once every 7 days for 8 weeks.


Should be taken with food. (Take with meals to avoid GI discomfort.)

List of Contraindications

Primaquine and Pregnancy

Contraindicated in pregnancy

Category C: Either studies in animals have revealed adverse effects on the foetus (teratogenic or embryocidal or other) and there are no controlled studies in women or studies in women and animals are not available. Drugs should be given only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the foetus.

Primaquine and Lactation

Contraindicated in lactation

Primaquine and Children

Information Not Available

Primaquine and Geriatic

Information Not Available

Primaquine and Other Contraindications

Hypersensitivity. Children <1 year. Acute flare-ups of systemic diseases (RA, SLE) having tendency for agranulocytopaenia, Pregnancy and lactation.


Store at 25°C

Lab interference

Store at 25°C

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