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Tafenoquine - A new single dose drug for recurrent malarial human disease approved by US FDA

Date: 23-07-2018 02:20 UTC

A new drug Tafenoquine to treat Malaria caused by mosquitos has been approved by USA Food and Drug Administration for general use after 60 years. It is specifically for the recurring form of malarial disease caused by Plasmodium Vivax which remains dormant in liver for may be many years and reawakening many times after. This type of malarial disease affects 8.5 million people each year and causes illness. Each phase of relapse causes more and more of weakness and may cause further spread of the malaria to other people through subsequent biting by mosquitos. It has to be taken currently with another medicine to stop immediate infection. Primaquine is already available to treat the recurrent malaria but it has to be taken for 14 days. But non compliance by patients for taking the medicine causes the malarial parasite to remain dormant in liver and causing relapse afterwards. Patients with G6PD enzyme deficiency should not take the drug as it would cause severe aneamia. They should test for it before taking Tafenoquine. But this would cause a problem for poorer people as it is costly and generally not available. It is manufactured by Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK) as brand name, Krintafel. Tafenoquine is in existence since 1970's but GSK has repurposed the drug for treatment of recurrent malaria.