What are halofantrine tablets?
HALOFANTRINE (HalfanŽ) is an antimalarial agent. Halofantrine treats malarial infection, which is transmitted by the bite of a mosquito. Because halofantrine may cause serious side effects, it is only used to treat malarial infections in areas where it is known that other medicines may not work. Halofantrine should not be prescribed for the self-treatment of malaria. Generic halofantrine tablets are not available.
NOTE: This drug is discontinued in the United States.
What should my health care professional know before I take halofantrine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
loss of appetite, poor eating habits, or an eating disorder like anorexia or bulimia
heart rhythm problems
history of low levels of calcium, potassium, or magnesium
other chronic illness
an unusual or allergic reaction to halofantrine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I take this medicine?
Take halofantrine tablets by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Halofantrine should only be taken on an empty stomach with a full glass (8 ounces or 240 ml) of water. Do not take halofantrine with grapefruit juice. Take you doses at regular intervals and on the same day of the week. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.
Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of halofantrine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. There should be an interval of 6 hours between doses. Do not take double or extra doses.
What drug(s) may interact with halofantrine?
diuretics (water pills)
medicines for treating heart-rhythm problems (examples: amiodarone, disopyramide, dofetilide, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol)
some antibiotics (examples: clarithromycin, erythromycin, gatifloxacin, grepafloxacin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, sparfloxacin, troleandomycin)
some medicines for treating fungal or yeast infections (fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole)
some medicines for treating HIV or AIDS infection
some medicines for treating depression or mental illness
some medicines for treating cancer (daunorubicin, doxorubicin)
Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
What should I watch for while taking halofantrine?
If you are taking mefloquine or have taken mefloquine in the past 3 weeks, you should not take halofantrine. Dangerous heart side effects may occur. Talk to your health care provider.
If you get a fever during or after you start taking halofantrine, do not treat yourself. Contact your healthcare provider immediately.
Tell your prescriber or health care professional if your symptoms do not improve in a few days.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that requires mental alertness until you know how halofantrine affects you. To reduce the risk of dizzy or fainting spells, do not sit or stand up quickly.
While in areas where malaria is common, certain steps can be taken to prevent being bit by mosquitoes. They include:
1) Stay in air-conditioned or well-screened rooms to reduce mosquito contact.
2) Sleep under mosquito netting (preferably has a pyrethrum insecticide).
3) Wear long-sleeved shirts and long trousers to protect arms and legs.
4) Apply mosquito repellents containing DEET to uncovered areas of skin.
5) Use a pyrethrum-containing flying insect spray to kill mosquitoes.
What side effects may I notice from taking halofantrine?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:
fever or chills
shortness of breath
slow, fast or irregular heartbeat
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
Where can I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open. It is important to keep halofantrine out of reach of children; overdose is very dangerous.
Store at controlled room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F) and protect from light. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.