Atovaquone is used to treat Pneumocystis jiroveci [Pneumocystis carinii] pneumonia (PCP; type of pneumonia most likely to affect people with human immunodeficiency virus [HIV]) in teenagers and adults. Atovaquone is also used to prevent PCP in teenagers and adults who cannot take another medication used for prevention. Atovaquone is in a class of medications called antiprotozoal agents. It works by stopping the growth of certain types of protozoa that can cause pneumonia.
Atovaquone comes as a suspension (liquid) to take by mouth. When atovaquone is used to treat pneumonia, it is usually taken with meals twice a day for 21 days. When atovaquone is used to prevent pneumonia, it is usually taken with a meal once a day. Take atovaquone at around the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take atovaquone exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
If your medication comes in a bottle, shake the bottle gently before each use to mix the medication evenly. Use a dose measuring spoon or a cup to measure the correct amount of liquid for each dose, not a regular household spoon.
If your medication comes in a packet, you may drink the medication directly from the packet or pour the medication into a dosing spoon or cup.
Take this medication until you finish the prescription. Do not stop taking the medication early even if you are taking it to treat pneumonia and you feel better. If you stop taking atovaquone too soon or skip doses, your infection may not be completely treated or you may not be protected from future infections.
If you have PCP, you may also have other types of lung infections. Atovaquone will not treat these infections. Your doctor may prescribe other antibiotics for you to take along with this medication.
Atovaquone is also sometimes used along with other medications to treat babesiosis (an infectious disease carried by ticks). Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
swelling of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, mouth, or throat
difficulty breathing or swallowing
hoarseness or throat tightness
Atovaquone may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Do not freeze this medication. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
grey-bluish color of lips and/or skin
shortness of breath
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Last Revised - 09/01/2010
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2014. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.