Atovaquone (By mouth)
Treats and prevents Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP).
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
- 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.
- Take all of the medicine in your prescription to clear up your infection, even if you feel better after the first few doses.
If a dose is missed:
- Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take 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- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
- Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. 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 others. Always practice safe sex, even if your partner also has HIV. Do not share needles or other items that may have blood or body fluids on them.
- Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
- Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.
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.
- Loss of appetite.
- Stuffy or runny nose, sneezing.
- Trouble sleeping.
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
- Last reviewed on 4/8/2016
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