Primaquine for reducing Plasmodium falciparum transmission (Review)

John Wiley & Sons, LTD

Research Area: Malaria
Type: Report
The Question

Should people treated for malaria caused by P. falciparum infection take a single dose of primaquine along with primary treatment?

What We Found

We found no studies testing whether the drug influences transmission intensity of malaria, and just one small study suggesting it reduces the infectiousness of the parasite present in infected people to the mosquito. PQ probably reduces the potential infectiousness of the parasite in people, as measured by the numbers of gametocytes circulating in the blood for up to six weeks after treatment. Regarding safety, one study reported that there was a greater reduction in haemoglobin values in the PQ group at day 8, so the safety of the drug remains uncertain if given to populations where G6PD occurs. Evidence of benefit and of safety is insufficient to recommend routine use of PQ as an add-on for people being treated for malaria.