Atovaquone is used to prevent and treat pneumonia caused by the protozoan Pneumocystis carinii in patients who cannot take trimethoprim or sulfamethoxazole.


What is Atovaquone?


Atovaquone is used against protozoan infections, but its mechanism of action is not yet fully understood. It is thought to interfere with the metabolism of the parasite by blocking it or at least slow its growth, helping to defeat it.


How should Atovaquone be taken?


Typically, Atovaquone is administered orally in the form of suspension.


Side effects associated with Atovaquone


The possible adverse effects of Atovaquone may include:


  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Increased cough
  • Increased sweating
  • Indigestion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Stomach ache
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness


You should immediately contact a doctor if taking Atovaquone triggers any of the following symptoms:


  • Rash
  • Urticaria
  • Itching
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Changes in the amount of produced urine
  • Dark urine
  • Fever
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Pale stools
  • Skin redness or peeling, swelling or blistering skin
  • Persistent or strong stomach pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Bruising or bleeding
  • White patches in the mouth
  • Jaundice


Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Atovaquone


Atovaquone may impair the ability to drive or operate hazardous machinery, especially if taken in combination with alcohol or other drugs.


Moreover, before starting the treatment it is important to tell your doctor if:


  • You have any allergies to the active substance, to other components or to other drugs or foods
  • You are taking other medications, herbal remedies and supplements, citing in particular rifamycins, tetracyclines and indinavir
  • You suffer (or have suffered) from gastrointestinal or liver problems
  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding