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Malarone FAQs

What is Malarone?

Malarone is a combination of atovaquone and proguanil, two anti-malarial medications that work together in one tablet. It is the ADF’s second line anti-malarial medicine for malaria prophylaxis.

What are the side effects of Malarone?

Side effects of Malarone are generally mild and short lived. If side effects do occur, they are most commonly gastrointestinal (such as heartburn, vomiting and diarrhoea). Less commonly Malarone can cause sleeping problems, vivid dreams and dizziness. Rarely, it can cause hallucinations.

If Malarone has mostly mild and short term side effects, why is it a second line medication to doxycycline?

Doxycycline is preferred as the first line anti-malarial medication as it provides additional protection against other infections encountered in the field environment. In particular, doxycycline is effective in preventing scrub typhus and leptospirosis.

How long can Malarone be taken for?

Experience with the individual components of Malarone (atovaquone and proguanil) suggests that long term use is safe.  No specific maximum time is recommended.  In the ADF, any need to use Malarone for longer than six months is considered on a case by case basis by the prescribing medical practitioner in consultation with the Army Malaria Institute.

What are the side effects of Malarone?

Like most medicines, Malarone can interact with several other medications. In particular the proguanil in Malarone may interact with blood thinning medication (eg warfarin) and increase the risk of bleeding. Anyone prescribed Malarone should inform their doctor about what else they are taking, including over the counter medications.