Primacin Tablets

Primacin Tablets is a brand of medicine containing the active ingredient primaquine.

Find out more about active ingredients.

Consumer medicine information (CMI) leaflet

Developed by the pharmaceutical company responsible for this medicine in Australia, according to TGA regulations.

Primacin® Tablets

Primaquine phosphate

Consumer Medicine Information

This leaflet answers some common questions about Primacin (primaquine) tablets. Please read this leaflet carefully before you start taking the tablets. The leaflet does not contain all the information available on this medication. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.

All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you taking Primacin against the benefits he expects it will have for you. If you have concerns about taking this medicine, ask your doctor or your pharmacist for further information. Keep this leaflet with your medicine. You may need to read it again.


Primacin tablets contain primaquine phosphate 13.2 mg equivalent to 7.5 mg of primaquine. The excipients (inactive ingredients) contained in the tablets are lactose, wheat starch, purified talc, gelatine, povidone, magnesium stearate and glycerol.

Primacin tablets contain primaquine phosphate 13.2 mg equivalent to 7.5 mg of primaquine. The excipients (inactive ingredients) contained in the tablets are lactose, wheat starch, purified talc, gelatine, povidone, magnesium stearate and glycerol.

What primaquine is used for

Primaquine is registered in Australia for two uses:

  1. To treat the vivax and ovale form of malaria following an attack
  2. To aid in the treatment of falciparum malaria by treating the malaria parasites in patients resident in areas receptive to malaria.

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Before you use primaquine

Contraindications - Do not take primaquine if you have an allergic reaction to the drug.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or are intending to breastfeed.

If you have a condition known as glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD) tell your doctor. You may not know if you have this deficiency but your doctor can give you a quick blood test to check this out.

If you have a serious disease, for example, rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, please tell your doctor.

The tablets contain small amounts of two inactive ingredients which some people are allergic to - lactose and wheat starch (gluten). If you are allergic to these substances please tell your doctor.

Warning: If the tablets show visible signs of deterioration do not use them. Do not use the medicine after the expiry date.

Taking other medicines

Tell your doctor if you are taking proguanil or are allergic to proguanil (Paludrine).

Tell your doctor all the medicines you are taking including medicines you buy without prescription form your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop. Some medicines may interfere with primaquine. Your doctor will need to know this to ensure that there are no interactions. These drugs include ketoconazole - a drug used to treat fungal infections.

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How it works

Primacin works by killing the malarial parasite at different stages of its life cycle, both in the blood and in the liver.

How to use primaquine properly

To treat malaria: If you have an attack of malaria following a stay in a malaria area, there are a number of methods used to kill the parasite injected into your body. The treatment and dose will depend upon the area in which you stayed. In some areas - South East Asia and the Pacific region close to Australia (Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands) - there are parasites that live in the mosquito which are more resistant to treatment. If your stay has been in one of these areas, the treatment may include an increased dose of primaquine or the use of primaquine over a longer period of time. The general treatment is usually one of the following:

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Dosage and administration

Primaquine should be taken with food.

Radical treatment
Your doctor will tell you how many tablets to take. The general treatment is usually one of the following:

  1. 15 mg for 14 days
  2. Up to 30 mg daily for 14 days in areas where resistant malaria strains occur or where treatment has failed with lower doses
  3. The WHO advises that the treatment period of 21 days should be employed to achieve radical cure in most of the South East Asia and the Pacific regions. Other antimalarial agents may be used concomitantly.
  4. Paediatric dose: 0.3 mg/kg/day. For the reduction of gametocytes of P. falciparum 0.7 to 1.0 mg/kg
  5. For patients with G6PD deficiency
    Up to 45 mg once weekly for 8 weeks with monitoring for the development of haemolysis
  6. Reduction of gametocytes of P. falciparum 45 mg as a single dose for adults and 0.7 - 1.0 mg/kg for children.

Ensure that you take the complete course of tablets. If you feel chilly or have a fever following return from a malaria area, see your doctor even if you have taken a course of tablets. In a small proportion of cases, relapses may occur.

What to do if one or more doses are not taken

Primacin tablets must be taken regularly - try to take the tablets at the same time each day with a meal. If you miss a dose one day, do not increase the dose the next day but continue with the usual dose. If you miss more than one dose, consult your doctor.

In case of overdose

Please contact your nearest Poisons Centre (13 11 26) or doctor immediately or go to casualty at your nearest hospital immediately if you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much Primacin. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention.

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Unwanted effects

Generally, side effects of primaquine are few. You may not experience the reactions listed below and the list is not exhaustive. Ensure that you take your tablets with food or an upset stomach may occur. If you feel unwell or feverish while taking the tablets, see your doctor even if the side effect is not listed below:

Common: abdominal cramps and pains, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and headache.

Effects on the blood may occur in susceptible individuals. These occur more commonly in patients taking very high doses - 120 mg daily.

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Storage conditions

Keep your tablets in a cool place below 25°C. The expiry date of the tablets is on the label. Do not use the product after this date.

Where to go for further information

Further information is available from your pharmacist or doctor.

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Product description

Primaquine has been used for more than 40 years in malaria but has not undergone the same long term animal safety testing as drugs which have been developed more recently.

Primacin tablets are round, flat, orange uncoated tablets containing 7.5 mg primaquine.

Primacin tablets are available in aluminium tubes of 28 or 56 tablets.

AUST R 63856

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CMI provided by MIMS Australia, December 2014  

Related information - Primacin Tablets


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