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Proguanil is used to treat and prevent malaria, a red blood cell infection transmitted by the bite of a mosquito.

How it works

Proguanil belongs to a group of medicines called antimalarial. It works by stopping the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax, from reproducing once it is in the red blood cells. It does this by inhibiting the enzyme, dihydrofolate reductase, which is involved in the reproduction of the parasite.

Common side effects

Nausea, Flushing, Gastric intolerance, Headache, Indigestion, Loss of appetite, Mouth ulcer, Stomatitis, Vomiting, Constipation, Diarrhoea


Expert advice

  • Take precautions to reduce the chances of being bitten by mosquitoes while on proguanil treatment.Start taking proguanil one week or at least two days before you enter the malaria area and continue to take it during your stay and for 4 weeks after leaving the malaria area.
  • Take proguanil with a glass of water after meals to decrease the possibility of stomach upset.
  • Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, think you might be pregnant or if you are breast-feeding.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is atovaquone proguanil the same as malarone?
Atovaquone proguanil is the same as malarone.
Q. Is atovaquone-proguanil an antibiotic? 
Atovaquone-proguanil is not an antibiotic.
Q. What is proguanil and atovaquone?
The drug combination atovaquone/ proguanil is an antimalarial medication used in both the treatment and prevention of malaria.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)