What is atovaquone?
Atovaquone is an sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim.prescription medicine approved by the U.S. (FDA) for the prevention and treatment of (PCP) in adults and adolescents who cannot tolerate
PCP can be an What is an Opportunistic Infection? fact sheet.(OI) of HIV. An OI is an infection that occurs more frequently or is more severe in people with weakened —such as people with HIV—than in people with healthy immune systems. To learn more about OIs, read the HIVinfo
How is atovaquone used in people with HIV?
The Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Adults and Adolescents with HIV and the Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Children with and Exposed to HIV include recommendations on the use of atovaquone to:
- PCP from occurring the first time and from recurring
- Toxoplasma gondii encephalitis from occurring the first time and from recurring
The recommended uses may not always be consistent with FDA-approved uses of atovaquone. See the Adult and Pediatric Opportunistic Infection Guidelines for complete information on recommended uses of atovaquone in adults and children with HIV. Atovaquone may have other recommended uses not listed above.
What should I tell my health care provider before taking atovaquone?
Before taking atovaquone, tell your health care provider:
- If you are allergic to atovaquone or any other medicines.
- About any medical conditions you have or have had, including problems or disorders.
- About anything that could affect your ability to take atovaquone, such as difficulty taking an oral suspension (a liquid) with food or trouble remembering a scheduled .
- If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Talk to your health care provider about the risks and benefits of taking atovaquone during pregnancy.
- If you are breast/chestfeeding or plan to breast/chestfeed. For people with HIV in the United States, the Guideline recommends speaking with your health care provider to discuss options for feeding your baby. People with suppressed viral load have a less than 1% chance of transmitting HIV to their baby via their own milk.
- About other prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Atovaquone may affect the way other medicines or products work, and other medicines or products may affect how atovaquone works. Ask your health care provider if there are interactions between atovaquone and the other medicines you take.
Ask your health care provider about possible side effects from atovaquone. Your health care provider will tell you what to do if you have side effects.
How should I take atovaquone?
Take atovaquone according to your health care provider’s instructions. Your health care provider will tell you how much atovaquone to take and when to take it. Before you start atovaquone and each time you get a refill, read any printed information that comes with your medicine.
How should atovaquone be stored?
- Store atovaquone oral suspension between 59°F and 77°F (15°C and 25°C). Do not freeze the oral suspension.
- Keep atovaquone in the container that it came in and keep the container tightly closed.
- Do not use atovaquone if the original seal over the container opening is broken or missing.
- Throw away atovaquone that is no longer needed or expired (out of date). Follow FDA guidelines on how to safely dispose of unused medicine.
- Keep atovaquone and all medicines out of reach of children.
Where can I find more information about atovaquone?
- Recommendations on the HIV-related uses of atovaquone, from the Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Adults and Adolescents with HIV and the Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Children with and Exposed to HIV.
- This Patient Version drug summary is based on the following FDA label(s): Suspension. The Patient Counseling Information section of the label includes information for people taking atovaquone.
- The American Hospital Formulary Service (AHFS) Patient Medication Information for atovaquone available from MedlinePlus.
- Atovaquone-related research studies, from ClinicalTrials.gov. (The ClinicalTrials.gov search can be modified so that you can get results that better match your interests.)
Last Reviewed: September 5, 2023