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Last Updated : 7/27/2018

General Information on Tafenoquine

Generic Name : Tafenoquine

Pronunciation : ta-FEN-oh-kwin

Latest prescription information about Tafenoquine. Learn how to pronounce the drug's name, its indications, dosage, how to take, when to take, when not to take, side effects, special precautions, its storage instructions and warnings if any when taken during pregnancy. Also listed are the International and Indian trade name(s) of the drug and its price list.
Therapeutic Classification : Anti- Malarials

Trade Names/Brand Names of Tafenoquine


Why is Tafenoquine Prescribed? (Indications)

• Tafenoquine is a safe and effective drug that is prescribed for prevention of malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax and not for acute malarial episodes. It is prescribed to patients either returning or traveling to endemic areas. The advantage of this drug is that only a single dose is required whereas the current drug Primaquine requires to be given for two weeks.

• It is an antimalarial drug used in patients who are aged 16 years and above prescribed with the intention to eliminate the malarial parasite from the body completely.

• Tafenoquine enters the disease-causing parasite and releases certain chemicals which lead to its death. 

When should Tafenoquine not to be taken? (Contraindications)

Tafenoquine should not be used in patients with-

• Allergic to tafenoquine and other chemically related drugs to tafenoquine
• Pregnancy and breastfeeding
• Deficiency of Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) (due to the risk of breakdown of red blood cells)
• Severe anemia
• Children below 16 years of age

What is the dosage of Tafenoquine?

• The recommended dose of tafenoquine is 300 mg which is achieved by taking two tablets of tafenoquine 150 mg.

• Tafenoquine is taken either on the first or the second day of the appropriate antimalarial treatment such as chloroquine therapy for treating Plasmodium vivax infection.

• If vomiting occurs just within 1 hour after taking tafenoquine, take another dose immediately but do not repeat more than once as this may be harmful.

How should Tafenoquine be taken?

• Tafenoquine comes as a tablet taken by mouth with food.

• Taking tafenoquine tablets with food helps to increase the absorption of tafenoquine.

• The tablets of tafenoquine should not be broken or crushed but have to be swallowed as a whole with a sufficient quantity of water.

What are the warnings and precautions for Tafenoquine?

Patients should be tested for the following parameters before taking tafenoquine tablets and should stop taking tafenoquine if the result is positive.

• Presence of G6PD deficiency
• Pregnancy

Patients should be monitored for the symptoms and signs of hemolysis or breakdown of red blood cells and should be provided with adequate medical support without delay to manage hemolytic risk.

Women of reproductive potential living with male partners should perform a pregnancy test and must take tafenoquine tablets only if the test is negative.

Breastfeeding is not advised for at least three months after the dose of tafenoquine if the child is found to have a G6PD deficiency or the status of G6PD is not known.

A blood test should be done to detect the presence of any increased levels of methemoglobin after taking tafenoquine and medical attention should be sought if any symptoms or signs of methemoglobinemia (high levels of methemoglobin in the blood) occur.

If patients with nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH)-dependent methemoglobin reductase deficiency are taking tafenoquine, they should also be carefully monitored to manage the conditions of methemoglobinemia.

Tafenoquine treated patients should be watched for symptoms or signs of psychosis or depression as tafenoquine can cause psychiatric side effects particularly in patients with a history of psychiatric illness.

As tafenoquine tablet’s effect can stay in the body for nearly 15 days, the occurrence of psychiatric effects can be delayed.

What are the side effects of Tafenoquine?

•  Gastrointestinal: Nausea and vomiting
•  Nervous system: Dizziness, headache, weakness, abnormal dreams, anxiety, inability to sleep
•  Eye: Corneal deposits, sensitivity or intolerance to light
•  Others: Itching, high levels of methemoglobin, creatinine, and liver enzyme (ALT) in blood, allergic reactions such as breathing difficulty, hives, swelling of face and eyelids.

What are the other precautions for Tafenoquine?

• Women of childbearing age must be clearly advised to take effective contraceptives when tafenoquine tablets are taken and to follow the contraception for at least three months after the dose of tafenoquine.

• Monitor patients carefully to avoid some severe side effects when tafenoquine is given to patients with kidney or liver disease.

• Tafenoquine tablets come in a pack of 30 tablets and once opened should be used within three months. Discard unused tablets if any, after three months.

What are the Drug Interactions of Tafenoquine?

• Drugs such as metformin and dofetilide should not be given together with tafenoquine as it may lead to toxicity of these drugs as this may be harmful.

• If co-administration of tafenoquine with metformin and dofetilide cannot be avoided, patients should be monitored for drug-related side effects, and dose reduction of these drugs should be considered when given with tafenoquine.

What are the storage conditions for Tafenoquine?

• Store tafenoquine tablets at room temperature between 20°C and 25°C.

• Keep all the tablets in their original container.

• Do not remove the desiccant provided in the container and protect the tablets from moisture and light.

• Keep tafenoquine tablets away from the reach of children and pets.

Last Updated : 7/27/2018

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