Primaquine Shortage

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the antimalarial drug primaquine is currently in shortage due to unavailability of an active ingredient. They are working to resolve the shortage as quickly as possible.

Primaquine and tafenoquine are the only two drugs that can be used to eliminate hypnozoites, the dormant forms of the malaria parasites. Until the primaquine shortage is resolved, tafenoquine (Krintafel) is the only option for antirelapse therapy of Plasmodium vivax and ovale. During this time, healthcare providers may also choose to maintain persons at risk for relapse on a chemoprophylaxis regimen, such as weekly chloroquine. Additionally, during the shortage, primaquine should not be prescribed for primary chemoprophylaxis. This notice will be updated as more information becomes available.

For more information about the shortage of primaquine, visit the FDA websiteexternal icon. For more information about treatment of malaria visit https://www.cdc.gov/malaria/diagnosis_treatment/treatment.html. For information about malaria prevention by country, see https://www.cdc.gov/malaria/travelers/country_table/a.html.

Page last reviewed: July 22, 2019