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Primaquine (trade name Primacin™) is an anti-malarial medication used to prevent relapses of malaria. It is given to people as they leave a malarious area to kill any malaria parasites that may be present in the body. Primaquine is not related to mefloquine.

Primaquine is taken twice daily for 14 days, commencing the day of leaving a malarious area. Gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea) are common and it is recommended that primaquine be taken with food.

Primaquine can cause red blood cell problems in people who lack the glucose-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase (G6PD) enzyme, causing anaemia. All ADF personnel are tested for this enzyme on entry and are not prescribed primaquine if they don’t have it.

More information:

Consumer Medicines Information and Product Information for prescribers is available on the Therapeutic Goods Administration website.

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