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(a-toe-va-kwone) ,


(trade name)


Therapeutic: anti infectives
Pregnancy Category: C


Treatment of mild to moderate Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PJP) in patients who are unable to tolerate trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole.Prophylaxis of PJP.


Inhibits the action of enzymes necessary to nucleic acid and ATP synthesis.

Therapeutic effects

Active against P. jirovecii.


Absorption: Absorption is poor but is increased by food, particularly fat.
Distribution: Enters CSF in very low concentrations (<1% of plasma levels).
Protein Binding: >99.9%.
Metabolism and Excretion: Undergoes enterohepatic recycling; elimination occurs in feces.
Half-life: 2.2–2.9 days.

Time/action profile (blood levels)

POunknown1–8 hr; 24–96 hr†12 hr
†Two peaks are due to enterohepatic recycling.


Contraindicated in: Hypersensitivity; Lactation: May appear in breast milk.
Use Cautiously in: ↓ hepatic, renal, or cardiac function (dose modification may be necessary);GI disorders (absorption may be limited); Obstetric: Safety not established; Pediatric: Safety not established.

Adverse Reactions/Side Effects

Central nervous system

  • headache (most frequent)
  • insomnia (most frequent)


  • cough (most frequent)


  • diarrhea (most frequent)
  • nausea (most frequent)
  • vomiting (most frequent)


  • rash (most frequent)


  • fever (most frequent)


Drug-Drug interaction

May interact with drugs that are highly bound to plasma proteins (does not appear to interact with phenytoin).Food ↑ absorption.


Oral (Adults) 750 mg twice daily for 21 days.
Oral (Children) 40 mg/kg/day (unlabeled).
Oral (Adults and Adolescents 13–16 yr) 1500 mg once daily.


Suspension: 750 mg/5 mL
In combination with: proguanil (Malarone). See combination drugs.

Nursing implications

Nursing assessment

  • Assess patient for signs of infection (vital signs, lung sounds, sputum, WBCs) at beginning of and throughout therapy.
  • Obtain specimens prior to initiating therapy. First dose may be given before receiving results.
  • Lab Test Considerations: Monitor hematologic and hepatic functions. May cause mild, transient anemia and neutropenia. May also cause ↑ serum amylase, AST, ALT, and alkaline phosphatase.
    • Monitor electrolytes. May cause hyponatremia.

Potential Nursing Diagnoses

Risk for infection (Indications,  Side Effects)
Deficient knowledge, related to medication regimen (Patient/Family Teaching)


  • Oral: Administer with food twice daily for 21 days for treatment and once daily for prevention.

Patient/Family Teaching

  • Instruct patient to take atovaquone exactly as directed around the clock for the full course of therapy, even if feeling better. Emphasize the importance of taking atovaquone with food, especially foods high in fat; taking without food may decrease plasma concentrations and effectiveness.
  • Advise patient to notify health care professional if rash occurs.

Evaluation/Desired Outcomes

  • Resolution of the signs and symptoms of infection.
Drug Guide, © 2015 Farlex and Partners


A trademark for the drug atovaquone.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


An antiprotozoal agent used to treat and prevent Pneumocystis jiroveci (carinii) in patients who are allergic to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.


Atovaquone Infectious disease An antiprotozoal agent used to treat and prevent PCP in Pts who are allergic to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. See AIDS, Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Igualmente Overton et al, (1996) (29), suplementaron vacas Holstein desde 7 a 10 dias preparto hasta la semana 18 posparto con 20 g/dia de MPR (Mepron M-85[R]) y reportaron que dicha suplementacion no tuvo ningun efecto sobre el CMS.
Atovaquone/Proguanil (Malarone) is a combination of the atovaquone mentioned above (Mepron) in a tablet form combined with proguanil.
I learned about babesia from giving Mepron with Zithromax.
GlaxoSmithKline PLC, meanwhile, will lose patent protection for three drugs: Mepron, Arranon and Treximet.
Occasionally I'll follow A-BAB [an herbal formula for babesia] with a little Mepron just to make sure I got it all, or I might give an antibiotic such as rifampin for a bartonella patient after A-BART just to be sure I got it all; but most of the time I'm using those oral protocols for a month, in contrast to six months of Mepron in the past.
For example, Mepron 750 mg/teaspoon taken two times per day (this 1995 paper on Babesia dosing has not adjusted the proposed dose in 17 years) with azithromycin 250 mg twice a day.
Protocol: Challenge testing was done using A-BAB, followed by10 weeks of A-BAB in progressively increased dosage as tolerated, followed by 6 weeks of Mepron and Zithromax.
Two drugs approved in the last several months are Burroughs Wellcome Co.'s Mepron and Adria Laboratories' Mycubtin.
Mepron, Malarone, and Artemisia are three of the most commonly prescribed remedies for Babesia, but they don't get rid of all species of the organism.