This medication is used to prevent or treat Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (previously known as Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia or PCP) in selected patients. It is an antiparasitic that prevents the growth of the germ responsible for this infection.
Shake the bottle gently but thoroughly before use. Measure the dose out carefully with a medication spoon/cup. Do not use a household spoon. To treat PCP, take this medication by mouth with food, usually 2 times daily for 21 days or as directed by your doctor. To prevent PCP, take this medication once a day with food as directed. The amount of atovaquone that gets into the body increases if it is taken with meals.
Dosage is based on your age, medical condition, and response to treatment.
This medication works best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, when taking this drug twice a day, take it at evenly spaced intervals about 12 hours apart. If you are taking this medication once a day, take it at the same time each day.
Continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished, 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 your condition persists or worsens.
Stomach upset/pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite, headache, dizziness, trouble sleeping, fever, sweating, or a strange taste in the mouth may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
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 immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: mental/mood changes (e.g., depression, anxiety), unusual weakness.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: vision changes, change in the amount of urine, unusual bleeding/bruising, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin, severe stomach/abdominal pain, persistent nausea/vomiting.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
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 allergic reaction. Therefore, seek immediate medical attention if you develop any rash.
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.
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: lung problems, liver disease, stomach disorders (e.g., 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.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: rifamycins (e.g., rifampin, rifabutin).
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. 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 told to do so by your doctor. A different medication may be necessary in that case.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., liver function, kidney function, sodium blood levels) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
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 and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature between 59-77 degrees F (15-25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets. It is very important that you not freeze this product because freezing decreases the amount of the drug you can absorb and may result in treatment failure.
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 for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised December 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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