Atovaquone is used to prevent or treat a serious lung infection called Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP). This medication helps to stop infection symptoms such as fever, cough, tiredness, and shortness of breath.
Shake the bottle gently but well before each dose. Carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.
To treat PCP, take this medication by mouth with food as directed by your doctor, usually twice daily for 21 days. To prevent PCP, take this medication with food usually once a day as directed. Atovaquone must be taken with food so your body can absorb as much of the medication as possible so it can work well.
For children, the dosage is also based on age and weight.
This medication works best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. If you take this drug twice a day, take it at evenly spaced intervals about 12 hours apart. If you take this medication once a day, take it at the same time each day.
Continue to take this medication for the full time prescribed, even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too early may result in a return of the infection.
Tell your doctor if you develop symptoms of PCP, or if your condition lasts or gets worse.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: depression, symptoms of liver disease (such as nausea/vomiting that doesn't stop, loss of appetite, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine).
Atovaquone can commonly cause a mild rash that is usually not serious. However, you may not be able to tell it apart from a rare rash that could be a sign of a severe reaction. Get medical help right away if you develop any rash.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking atovaquone, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, kidney disease, stomach/intestinal problems that may affect absorption of atovaquone (such as long-term diarrhea, malabsorption syndrome).
This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Other medications can decrease the level of atovaquone in your body, which may affect how atovaquone works. Examples include efavirenz, metoclopramide, rifampin, rifabutin, tetracycline, among others.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not use it later for another infection unless your doctor directs you to do so. A different medication may be necessary in that case.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Do not freeze this product. Freezing decreases the amount of atovaquone your body can absorb and may cause it to not work well. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised February 2016. Copyright(c) 2016 First Databank, Inc.
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