Where and how you can contract malaria

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1 FANSIDAR(R) pronounced (Fan-si-dar) contains the active ingredients sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine Consumer Medicine Information What is in this leaflet This leaflet answers some common questions about FANSIDAR tablets. It does not contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist. All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you taking FANSIDAR tablets against the benefits they expect it will have for you. If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Keep this leaflet with the medicine. You may need to read it again. What FANSIDAR is used for FANSIDAR is used for the prevention and treatment of malaria. FANSIDAR belongs to a group of medicines called anti-malarial agents. FANSIDAR contains the active ingredients sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine. Sulfadoxine belongs to a group of medicines called sulfonamides. Pyrimethamine belongs to a group of medicines called diaminopyrimidines. Both substances work together in the prevention and treatment of malaria. Where and how you can contract malaria Malaria is an infectious disease that is widespread in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa, Latin America, Asia and countries around the Pacific. There are different forms of malaria, each of them caused by a specific parasite transmitted to humans by the bite of the Anopheles mosquito. Precautions against malaria The best protection against malaria is to avoid mosquito bites. The mosquito that causes malaria mainly bites between dusk and dawn. Therefore the following precautionary measures are recommended: * during this period, wear light-coloured clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible * apply mosquito repellent to your uncovered skin and to your clothes * when sleeping in rooms that are not protected against mosquitoes, use an effective mosquito net well tucked under the mattress * additional protection is provided by smoke spirals, insect sprays and candles. Symptoms of malaria The symptoms of malaria may often be mild. However, malaria should be suspected if, after one week in a malarial area, you suffer unexplained fever with or without other symptoms such as headache, aching limbs, weakness, shaking, chills, and sometimes diarrhoea, vomiting and cough. These symptoms can easily be confused with influenza. If these symptoms are due to the most dangerous form of malaria caused by the falciparum parasite, and they are not treated in time, severe organ damage, loss of consciousness and death can occur within a short period. The less dangerous forms of malaria, which are not life threatening, can break out months or even years after the end of a stay in a malarial area. Diagnosis and treatment of malaria Early diagnosis is critical for successful treatment. Anyone suspected of malaria should seek medical attention promptly and request a blood sample to be taken and examined microscopically for malaria parasites. Most tourists and business travellers will normally be able to receive medical attention. However, if this is not readily available, anti-malarial treatment can be self-administered ('stand-by treatment'). Consult your doctor about the need to carry 'stand-by treatment' on your trip. Medical advice should still be sought after self-administered treatment. There are many different types of medicines used to treat malaria. Your doctor, however, may have prescribed FANSIDAR for another FANSIDAR(R) 1

2 purpose. Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why FANSIDAR has been prescribed for you. FANSIDAR is not addictive. This medicine is available only with a doctor's prescription. Before you take FANSIDAR When you must not take it Do not take FANSIDAR if: 1. you have had an allergic reaction to FANSIDAR, to another medicine in the sulfonamide or diaminopyrimidine group, or any ingredient listed at the end of this leaflet 2. you have kidney disease 3. you have liver disease 4. you have any blood abnormalities or disorders (known as blood dyscrasia) 5. you have a blood disorder known as megaloblastic anaemia due to folate deficiency 6. the package is torn or shows signs of tampering 7. the expiry date (EXP) printed on the pack has passed. If you take this medicine after the expiry date has passed, it may not work as well. Do not give FANSIDAR tablets to infants under 2 months of age. If you are not sure if you should be taking FANSIDAR, talk to your doctor. Before you start to take it Your doctor must know about all the following before you start to take Tell your doctor if: 1. you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant FANSIDAR is not generally recommended for use in pregnant women unless the benefits of treatment outweigh the risk to the unborn baby. 2. you are breast-feeding or intend to breast-feed FANSIDAR passes into breast milk and may affect your baby. 3. you have any other health problems, especially the following: * kidney problems * liver problems * any type of blood disease 4. you are allergic to any other medicines, foods, dyes or preservatives If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you start taking Some people may develop a skin reaction while taking this medicine. If you develop a skin reaction, such as a rash, you must stop taking FANSIDAR immediately Taking other medicines Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you have bought from a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop. Some medicines may interfere with These medicines include: * chloroquine, a medicine used to treat or prevent malaria * quinine, a medicine used to treat cramps * some cancer medicines * some local anaesthetics * sulfonylureas, a group of medicines used to treat diabetes * methotrexate, a medicine used to treat arthritis, psoriasis and some cancers * some antibiotics, medicines used to treat infection * warfarin, a medicine used to prevent blood clots * phenytoin, a medicine used to treat epilepsy These medicines may be affected by FANSIDAR, or may affect how well it works. You may need to take different amounts of your medicine, or you may need to take different Your doctor will advise you. Your doctor or pharmacist has more information on medicines to be careful with or avoid while taking Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure about this list of How to take FANSIDAR Follow all directions given to you by your doctor or pharmacist carefully. They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet. How much to take Take FANSIDAR exactly as your doctor has prescribed. Your doctor will tell you how many FANSIDAR tablets to take each day. Treatment of malaria The recommended dose for adults and children over 14 years of age is a single dose of 2 to 3 tablets. For children under 14 years of age, the dose of FANSIDAR depends on the age of your child. Your doctor will tell you how much your child should be given. Prevention of malaria The recommended dose for prevention is dependent on your immune status and age. Your doctor will tell you how many tablets to take and how often to take them. FANSIDAR(R) 2

3 The first dose should be taken 1-2 weeks before departure to a malarial area. Administration should be continued during the stay and for the first 4 weeks after returning. How to take it Swallow the tablets whole with a glass of water. During treatment make sure that you drink plenty of fluids. When to take it It does not matter whether you take FANSIDAR after a meal. How long to take it Continue taking FANSIDAR until your doctor tells you to stop. The length of therapy will depend on whether FANSIDAR is used for the treatment or prevention of malaria. If you forget to take it If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take your next dose when you are meant to. Otherwise, take it as soon as you remember and then go back to taking it as you would normally. If you are not sure what to do, ask your doctor or pharmacist. If you have trouble remembering your dose, ask your pharmacist for some hints. If you take too much (overdose) Immediately telephone your doctor, or Poisons Information Centre (telephone ), or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital, if you think you or anyone else may have taken too much Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention. Keep telephone numbers for these places handy. If you are not sure what to do, contact your doctor or pharmacist. While you are taking FANSIDAR Things you must do Avoid excessive exposure to the sun while taking Taking FANSIDAR increases the sensitivity of your skin to the sun. Tell all doctors, dentists and pharmacists who are treating you that you are taking Tell your doctor if you become pregnant while taking Women of child-bearing potential should use effective contraception throughout therapy with FANSIDAR and for at least 3 months after taking the last dose. Tell your doctor that you are taking FANSIDAR if you are going to have any laboratory tests. Tell your doctor if, for any reason, you have not taken your medicine exactly as prescribed. Otherwise, your doctor may think that it was not effective and change your treatment unnecessarily. If you are taking FANSIDAR for the treatment of malaria, tell your doctor if you feel the tablets are not helping your condition. Be sure to keep all of your appointments with your doctor so that your progress can be checked. If you are being treated with FANSIDAR for longer than three months your doctor may monitor your response by taking regular blood tests. Things you must not do Do not stop taking FANSIDAR or change the dose without first checking with your doctor. Do not let yourself run out of medicine over the weekend or on holidays. Do not give FANSIDAR to anyone else even if they have the same condition as you. Do not use FANSIDAR to treat other complaints unless your doctor says to. Do not take any other medicines whether they require a prescription or not without first telling your doctor or consulting a pharmacist. Things to be careful of Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how FANSIDAR affects you. As with many other medicines used to treat malaria, FANSIDAR may cause dizziness, drowsiness or light-headedness in some people. Make sure you know how you react to FANSIDAR before you drive a car, operate machinery. Dizziness, drowsiness or light-headedness may be worse if you are drinking alcohol. Side effects Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking FANSIDAR helps most people with malaria but it may have unwanted side effects in a few people. All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects. When FANSIDAR is used for treatment of malaria, side effects may occur more often than when it is used for prevention of malaria. If you are taking FANSIDAR for the treatment of malaria, you may not be able to distinguish between the side effects of the medicine and the FANSIDAR(R) 3

4 disease itself. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have. Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you: * dizziness * stomach upset including nausea (feeling sick), vomiting * loss of appetite * diarrhoea * feeling of fullness * tiredness * headache * sore mouth or mouth ulcers and cold sores * symptoms of sunburn (such as redness, itching, swelling, blistering) which may occur more quickly than normal * slight hair loss (reversible when you stop taking the medicine) These are the more common side effects of Mostly these are mild. Tell your doctor immediately or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital if you notice any of the following: * skin reactions such as sudden or severe itching, skin rash, hives * severe blisters and bleeding of the lips, eyes, mouth, nose and genitals * severe skin reaction; painful red areas, that blisters and peel. Accompanied by fever and chills, aching muscles and generally feeling unwell * bleeding or bruising more often than normal * tiredness, headache, shortness of breath when exercising, looking pale and yellowing of the skin and/or eyes * frequent infections such as fever, severe chills, sore throat or mouth ulcers * coughing, shortness of breath A severe allergic reaction may occur. This must be treated at once. If you notice unusual wheezing or difficulty breathing; swollen tongue, face or throat; if you feel lightheaded or faint; or if you collapse, contact your doctor or go to your nearest Accident and Emergency Centre. These may be serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention. Serious side effects are rare. This is not a complete list of all possible side effects. Others may occur in some people and there may be some side effects not yet known. Tell your doctor if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell, even if it is not on this list. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you don't understand anything in this list. Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them. After taking FANSIDAR Storage Keep your tablets in the blister pack until it is time to take them. If you take the tablets out of the blister pack they may not keep well. Keep FANSIDAR in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 30 degrees C. Do not store it, or any other medicine, in a bathroom or near a sink. Do not leave it in the car or on window sills. Heat and dampness can destroy some Keep FANSIDAR where young children cannot reach it. A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store Disposal If your doctor tells you to stop taking FANSIDAR, or the tablets have passed their expiry date, ask your pharmacist what to do with any tablets that are left over. Product description Availability FANSIDAR comes in blister packs of 3 tablets. What FANSIDAR looks like FANSIDAR tablets are round, white tablets marked with 'ROCHE' and a hexagon on one side and are cross-scored on the other side (so that they can be easily broken into halves or into quarters). Ingredients Active ingredients - * each tablet contains 500 mg of sulfadoxine and 25 mg of pyrimethamine Inactive ingredients - * maise starch * lactose * gelatin * talc * magnesium stearate FANSIDAR tablets do not contain sucrose or gluten. Distributor FANSIDAR is distributed by: Roche Products Pty Limited ABN Inman Road Dee Why NSW 2099 Customer enquiries: Please check with your pharmacist for the latest Consumer Medicine Information. FANSIDAR(R) 4

5 Australian Registration Number * This leaflet was prepared 12 August 2008 FANSIDAR(R) 5

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