Sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine, sold under the brandname Fansidar, is a combination medication used to treat malaria. It contains sulfadoxine (a sulfonamide) and pyrimethamine (an antiprotozoal). For the treatment of malaria it is typically used along with other antimalarial medication such as artesunate.
|Trade names||Fansidar, Fanlar, others|
|AHFS/Drugs.com||Consumer Drug Information|
Side effects include diarrhea, rash, itchiness, headache, and hair loss. Rarely a severe allergic reaction or rash such as toxic epidermal necrolysis, may occur. It is not generally recommended in people with a sulfonamide allergy or significant liver or kidney disease. It is unclear if use during pregnancy is safe for the baby. It works by blocking malaria's ability to use folinic acid.
Sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine was initially approved for medical use in the United States in 1981. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. The wholesale cost in the developing world is about US$0.08–0.36 per day. It is not currently commercially available in the United States.
It is approved by the United States' Food and Drug Administration for use as a treatment and preventive measure against malaria. The combination is considered to be more effective in treating malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum than that caused by P. vivax, for which chloroquine is considered more effective, though in the absence of a species-specific diagnosis, the sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine combination may be indicated. Due to side effects, however, it is no longer recommended as a routine preventive, but only to treat serious malaria infections or to prevent them in areas where other drugs may not work.
Common (>1% frequency):
- Hypersensitivity reactions (e.g. itchiness, contact dermatitis, and hives)
- Gastrointestinal effects (e.g. nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea)
Rare (<1% frequency):
- Abnormal liver function test results (e.g. elevated serum ALT, AST, alkaline phosphatase, and bilirubin concentrations)
- Megaloblastic anaemia caused by folate deficiency
- Hypersensitivity to pyrimethamine, sulfonamides, or any ingredient in the formulation
- Repeated prophylactic (prolonged) use in patients with kidney or liver failure or blood dyscrasias
- Infants <2 months of age
- Prophylaxis in pregnancy at term
- Prophylaxis in nursing women
- Acute porphyria
Sulfadoxine is a sulfonamide antibiotic that competes with p-aminobenzoic acid in the biosynthesis of folate. Pyrimethamine serves as a selective inhibitor of protozoal dihydrofolate reductase, hence preventing the synthesis of tetrahydrofolate — the active form of folate. A great degree of synergy occurs between the two drugs due to their inhibition of two different steps in the biosynthesis of tetrahydrofolate.
|Half-life||111 hours||169 hours|
|Cmax||0.2 mg/l||60 mg/L|
|Tmax||4 hours||4 hours|
|Excretion||Renal (16-30%)||Renal (30%)|
- Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (co-trimoxazole)
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