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Notices to Readers Availability of Primaquine Phosphate from CDC

Primaquine phosphate is an antimalarial drug that decreases the risk of malaria relapses by acting against the liver stages of Plasmodium vivax and P. ovale infections. No alternative antirelapse drugs are available in the United States.

CDC was recently notified by the sole U.S. manufacturer of primaquine (Winthrop Pharmaceuticals, New York, New York) that production of this drug has been temporarily discontinued because its chemical precursor is currently unavailable. Primaquine is expected to be commercially available again in mid-1991. In the meantime, CDC has acquired a supply of the drug in sufficient quantity for treatment of nonmilitary cases of P. vivax and P. ovale infections. Until primaquine is again commercially available, CDC will provide this drug free to licensed U.S. physicians who wish to prescribe it for patients who have parasitologically-confirmed P. vivax or P. ovale infections and who reside in the United States or its territories. Patients with P. falciparum or P. malariae infections do not require primaquine therapy. Because of the limited supply, CDC is unable to provide primaquine for persons who wish to use it as part of a chemoprophylactic regimen.

Physicians who wish to receive therapeutic courses of primaquine for their patients should call the CDC Drug Service at (404) 639-3670, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Eastern time. Physicians will be requested to provide the following information about their patients: clinical and parasitologic data, places and dates of travel to malarious areas, and use of malaria chemoprophylaxis.

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