Proguanil is used in the prevention of malaria (a disease characterised by chills, fever and sweating that is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito).
Take Proguanil exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Take it together with food or immediately after a meal. Try to take it at the same time each day.
If you have difficulty swallowing the tablet(s), you may crush the tablet(s) and mix it with milk, honey, or jam. Stir and drink the mixture immediately.
Take Proguanil at least 1 week (or at least 2 days, if not possible) before travelling. Continue taking this medicine on a daily basis throughout the whole period of travel and for at least 4 weeks after leaving the area.
Take Proguanil at regular intervals. Do not skip any doses. You must complete the entire course of this medicine. If you don't, the infection will not be properly controlled.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Inform your doctor if you have kidney disease.
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Proguanil to a child. Children may be more sensitive to the side effects.
In addition to taking this medicine, you must also take preventive measures to avoid mosquito bites. Use an effective insect repellent and wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants to reduce exposure. Avoid going out between dusk to dawn. Effective insect repellents should contain at least 20-33% diethyltoluamide (DEET).
The symptoms of malaria are fever, chills, headache, muscle pain and a flu-like illness. Consult a doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms during your travel or anytime within 1 year after leaving the area, especially within 3 months of your return from an area known to have malaria.
Proguanil may cause any of the following side effects: diarrhoea, constipation, mouth sores, rash, itching, and hair loss.
This medicine may cause the level of your red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets to drop.
Red blood cells carry oxygen around your body. A fall in the level of red blood cells may make you feel tired and worn out.
White blood cells help your body to fight infections. A fall in the level of your white blood cells may put you at higher risk for infections, such as coughs, colds and flu, which may lead to more serious infections. Avoid crowded places and people who are sick. Inform your doctor if you have a fever, cough, or flu that does not go away.
Platelets help your blood to clot when there is a cut in the skin. A fall in the level of your platelets may put you at risk of bleeding more than usual. Do not take part in activities where you may fall or get injured, such as contact sports. Inform your doctor if you get any unusual bruising (large bruises or several bruises, especially if the bruises appeared on their own) or bleeding that takes a long time to stop (for example, too much bleeding when you floss or brush your teeth).
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- blood-thinning medicines e.g. warfarin
- medicines for HIV infection e.g. ritonavir, saquinavir, indinavir
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Proguanil.
This medicine should not be taken with antacids as antacids could reduce the effectiveness of Proguanil. If you must take antacids, take them between meals at least 2 hours after you have taken this medicine.
Avoid vaccination with live oral typhoid vaccine while you are taking Proguanil. Alert your doctor if you have been recently vaccinated or if you are planning to get vaccinated.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements, and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
If you are pregnant, it may be helpful to discuss your diet with your doctor or dietitian about your intake of folic acid (vitamin B9) while you are taking Proguanil.
Your doctor may advise you to eat more foods that are high in vitamin B9, such as beans, lettuce, avocado, or wheat bread.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.