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Malaria drugs (Antimalarials)

Pyrimethamine may interfere with folic acid metabolism.  Animal experiments have shown that administration of very high doses during the baby's organ development may give rise to birth defects typical of folic acid antagonism.  If pyrimethamine is given during pregnancy, folic acid supplementation may be required.

Chloroquine is useful in the suppression and treatment of malaria. It has a rapid schizonticidal effect. Chloroquine and related substances may cause neurological disturbances in the fetus and interference with hearing, balance and vision.  The use of these drugs in the prophylaxis of malaria is accepted because the small risk to the fetus with the low doses used is outweighed by the benefits to the mother and fetus.  The use of higher doses in the treatment of malaria and in the second line treatment of liver amoebiasis is accepted because the lifesaving benefits of the treatment to the mother and the fetus outweigh the risk.

Quinine, a highly active blood schizonticide also suppresses the asexual cycle of development of malarial parasites in the erythrocytes (red blood cells). Quinine (and quinidine) in high doses causes fetal injuries in the form of deafness, developmental disturbances and malformations of the extremities and cranium.  Its ability to induce uterine contractions also causes a risk of abortion.

Pyrimethamine with Sulfadoxine
Pyrimethamine may interfere with folic acid metabolism.  Sulfadoxine may cause jaundice in babies during the first month of life by displacing bilirubin from plasma albumin.  Sulfadoxine should therefore be avoided as far as possible during the last month of pregnancy.

Products: Chloroquine, Quinine
For Children: Reduced dose necessary
For Pregnant Women: High doses may affect the baby
For Breastfeeding Mothers: Caution
Contra-indications*: Renal and liver impairment, epilepsy
Caution: ---------

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