|Main uses||Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP), toxoplasmosis, babesiosis|
|Side effects||Headache, fever, anxiety, trouble sleeping, vivid dreams, nausea, diarrhea, skin rash, itching|
|Elimination half-life||2.2–3.2 days|
|Chemical and physical data|
|Molar mass||366.84 g·mol−1|
|3D model (JSmol)|
|Melting point||216 to 219 °C (421 to 426 °F)|
Atovaquone, sold under the brand name Mepron, is an medication used to treat and prevent Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP), toxoplasmosis and babesiosis. For PCP it is used in those who cannot take trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole. It is taken by mouth.
Common side effects include headache, fever, anxiety, trouble sleeping, vivid dreams, nausea, diarrhea, skin rash, and itching. Other side effects may include liver problems and angioedema. Safety in pregnancy and breastfeeding is unclear. It is a quinone, specifically a naphthoquinone.
Atovaquone was approved for medical use in the United States in 1992. It is available as a generic medication. In the United Kingdom 50 doses of 750 mg costs the NHS about £470 as of 2021. This amount in the United States is about 220 USD.
Atovaquone is a medication used to treat or prevent:
- For pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP), it is used in mild cases, although it is not approved for treatment of severe cases.
- For toxoplasmosis, the medication has antiparasitic and therapeutic effects.
- For babesia, it is often used in conjunction with oral azithromycin.
Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX) is generally considered first-line therapy for PCP (not to be confused with sulfadiazine and pyrimethamine, which is first line for toxoplasmosis). However, atovaquone may be used in patients who cannot tolerate, or are allergic to, sulfonamide medications such as TMP-SMX. In addition, atovaquone has the advantage of not causing myelosuppression, which is an important issue in patients who have undergone bone marrow transplantation.
Atovaquone is given prophylactically to kidney transplant patients to prevent PCP in cases where TMP-SMX is contraindicated.[medical citation needed]
For prevention it is used at a dose of 1,500 mg once per day while for treatment 750 mg twice per day is used for 21 days.
Atovaquone, as part of the combination atovaquone/proguanil with proguanil, is used to treatment and prevention of malaria. It has fewer side effects but is more expensive than mefloquine. Resistance has been observed.
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