Antimalarial pharmacology and therapeutics of atovaquone

J Antimicrob Chemother. 2013 May;68(5):977-85. doi: 10.1093/jac/dks504. Epub 2013 Jan 4.


Atovaquone is used as a fixed-dose combination with proguanil (Malarone) for treating children and adults with uncomplicated malaria or as chemoprophylaxis for preventing malaria in travellers. Indeed, in the USA, between 2009 and 2011, Malarone prescriptions accounted for 70% of all antimalarial pre-travel prescriptions. In 2013 the patent for Malarone will expire, potentially resulting in a wave of low-cost generics. Furthermore, the malaria scientific community has a number of antimalarial quinolones with a related pharmacophore to atovaquone at various stages of pre-clinical development. With this in mind, it is timely here to review the current knowledge of atovaquone, with the purpose of aiding the decision making of clinicians and drug developers involved in the future use of atovaquone generics or atovaquone derivatives.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antimalarials / pharmacology
  • Antimalarials / therapeutic use*
  • Atovaquone / pharmacology
  • Atovaquone / therapeutic use*
  • Chemoprevention / methods
  • Drug Combinations
  • Humans
  • Malaria / drug therapy*
  • Malaria / prevention & control
  • Proguanil / pharmacology
  • Proguanil / therapeutic use
  • United States


  • Antimalarials
  • Drug Combinations
  • atovaquone, proguanil drug combination
  • Proguanil
  • Atovaquone