Atovaquone (By mouth)

Introduction

Atovaquone (a-TOE-va-kwone)

Treats and prevents Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP).

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Mepron

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to atovaquone.

How to Use This Medicine

Liquid, Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • For the oral liquid, shake the bottle gently just before taking the medicine.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • Take this medicine with a full meal. Atovaquone may not work as well if it is taken on an empty stomach, because less of the medicine will be absorbed into your body.
  • Tell your doctor if you cannot take this medicine with food.
  • Keep using this medicine for the full treatment time, even if you feel better after the first few doses. Your infection may not clear up if you stop using the medicine too soon.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not freeze. Keep tightly closed.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also taking rifampin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®) or rifabutin (Mycobutin®). Atovaquone may not work as well if taken with either of these two medicines.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have stomach or bowel problems or liver disease.
  • This medicine will not keep you from giving HIV to your partner during sex. Make sure you understand and practice safe sex, even if your partner also has HIV. Do not share needles with anyone.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
  • Increased cough.
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
  • Rash or hives.
  • Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or upset stomach.
  • Headache.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Stuffy or runny nose, sneezing.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Weakness.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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