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Reference: Burgoine, KL, Bancone, G and Nosten, F, (2010). The reality of using primaquine. Malaria Journal, 9 (1), Article: 376.Citable link to this page:


The reality of using primaquine.

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Primaquine is currently the only medication used for radical cure of Plasmodium vivax infection. Unfortunately, its use is not without risk. Patients with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency have an increased susceptibility to haemolysis when given primaquine. This potentially fatal clinical syndrome can be avoided if patients are tested for G6PD deficiency and adequately informed before being treated. CASE PRESENTATION: A 35-year old male presented to our clinic on the Thai-Burmese border with a history and clinical examination consistent with intravascular haemolysis. The patient had been prescribed primaquine and chloroquine four days earlier for a P. vivax infection. The medication instructions had not been given in a language understood by the patient and he had not been tested for G6PD deficiency. The patient was not only G6PD deficient but misunderstood the instructions and took all his primaquine tablets together. With appropriate treatment the patient recovered and was discharged home a week later. CONCLUSIONS: Whilst primaquine remains the drug of choice to eradicate hypnozoites and control P. vivax transmission, the risks associated with its use must be minimized during its deployment. In areas where P. vivax exists, patients should be tested for G6PD deficiency and adequately informed before administration of primaquine.

Peer Review status:Peer reviewedPublication status:PublishedVersion:Publisher's version Funder: Wellcome Trust   Notes:© 2010 Burgoine et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Bibliographic Details

Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd.

Publisher Website:

Journal: Malaria Journalsee more from them

Publication Website:

Issue Date: 2010

pages:Article: 376Identifiers

Urn: uuid:05ab2cab-7fa2-43c5-91c9-e36df2123f42

Source identifier: 110179

Eissn: 1475-2875


Issn: 1475-2875 Item Description

Type: Journal article;

Language: eng

Version: Publisher's versionKeywords: Humans Malaria, Vivax Hemolysis Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency Primaquine Adult Antimalarials Chloroquine Male Tiny URL: pubs:110179


Autor: Burgoine, KL - institutionUniversity of Oxford fundingUniversity College, Oxford - - - Bancone, G - institutionUniversity of Oxfo



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