If you have been infected by the Plasmodium ovale or Plasmodium vivax previously and require a medication to prevent a relapse of malaria, talk to your doctor about Primaquine. P. ovale and P. vivax are two of the four most common species of malaria parasite that can infect humans. These two species are found mainly in Asia, Latin America, and western Africa.
If you are expecting to travel to any of these areas, ask for a prescription for Primaquine or generic Primaquine Phosphate to take prior to your travel time to guard against becoming another victim of these parasites. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
Once taken as directed to treat a relapse or new malarial infection, it is believed that the active ingredient in Primaquine may bind to and change the properties of the protozoal DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). The exact mechanism of action is still not fully understood as yet. Primaquine fights the P. vivax and P. ovale infection at the liver stage in order to stop the development of erythrocytic forms that are to blame when they emerge from their dormant (hypnozoite) stage months later and cause a relapse as they begin attacking red blood cells.
The Plasmodium parasites are passed on to humans through the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito that needs the blood for nurturing her eggs. The parasites that have developed in the mosquito are contained in the salivary gland and are injected into you through her bite and passes into your blood. If you are not protected from malaria, you will start to show symptoms of chills, fever, headache, and vomiting about 7-14 days after an infectious bite. If the next mosquito bite you receive is from an uninfected Anopheles female, she will now be the carrier and move on to infect others. Travel safe and be informed about what you should do to protect yourself from malaria.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are breast feeding before you start Primaquine to avoid any risks to your unborn or nursing baby. To determine if Primaquine is the right treatment for you, explain other medical conditions or allergies you have to your doctor and list any OTC or Rx drugs you currently take or use, including herbal remedies and dietary or vitamin supplements.
You may be required to undergo a blood test before taking Primaquine to be certain you do not have G6PD deficiency. This is a genetic disorder that causes a decrease in a certain enzyme that is essential for red blood cells to work normally. If you are taking Primaquine as a preventative drug, start several days before you travel in case you have any side effects or reaction to the ingredients.