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Pyrimethamine

Pyrimethamine Prescription
Generic Name: pyrimethamine (PIR i METH a meen)
Brand Name: Daraprim
Physician reviewed pyrimethamine patient information - includes pyrimethamine description, dosage and directions.
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Pyrimethamine Drug Information:

Pyrimethamine is an antiparasite medicine that helps prevent parasites from growing and reproducing in the body. Pyrimethamine is used in adults and children to treat or prevent certain types of malaria. However, pyrimethamine is generally not preferred as a medicine to prevent malaria while traveling. When used to treat malaria, pyrimethamine should be used together with a faster-acting anti-malaria medicine such as chloroquine or quinine. Pyrimethamine is also used to treat toxoplasmosis, an infection caused by the Toxoplasma parasite. Learn more

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Pyrimethamine Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to pyrimethamine: oral tablet

Along with its needed effects, pyrimethamine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking pyrimethamine:

Less common

  • Black, tarry stools
  • blood in urine or stools
  • cough or hoarseness
  • fever or chills
  • irritation or soreness of tongue
  • lower back or side pain
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pinpoint red spots on skin
  • unusual bleeding or bruising

Rare

  • Bleeding or crusting sores on lips
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • muscle cramps or pain
  • redness, blistering, peeling, or loosening of skin
  • skin rash
  • sores, ulcers, and/or white spots in mouth
  • sore throat
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Frequency not known

  • Blood in urine
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty swallowing
  • dizziness
  • fainting spells
  • fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
  • hives
  • itching
  • joint or muscle pain
  • lightheadedness
  • pale skin
  • pounding or rapid pulse
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips or tongue
  • rapid breathing
  • red, irritated eyes
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • shortness of breath
  • swollen glands
  • tightness in chest
  • unexplained bleeding or bruising
  • wheezing

Symptoms of overdose

  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • convulsions (seizures)
  • increased excitability
  • vomiting (severe and continuing)

Some side effects of pyrimethamine may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Less common

  • Diarrhea
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • vomiting

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to pyrimethamine: compounding powder, oral tablet

General

Since this drug is coadministered with a sulfonamide, the manufacturer product information for the relevant sulfonamide should be consulted for sulfonamide-related side effects.

Gastrointestinal

Very common (10% or more): Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, colic

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dry mouth, dry throat

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Buccal ulceration

Frequency not reported: Glossitis, atrophic glossitis

Nervous system

Precipitation of a grand mal attack in a patient predisposed to epilepsy was reported; clinical significance was not established.

Very common (10% or more): Headache

Common (1% to 10%): Dizziness

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Convulsions/seizures

Frequency not reported: Ataxia, tremors, precipitation of grand mal attack

Hematologic

Very common (10% or more): Anemia

Common (1% to 10%): Thrombocytopenia, leukopenia

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Pancytopenia

Frequency not reported: Megaloblastic anemia, neutropenia, agranulocytosis

Dermatologic

Very common (10% or more): Rash

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Abnormal skin pigmentation, dermatitis

Other

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Fever, malaise

Psychiatric

Insomnia was reported when this drug was given weekly at higher than recommended doses.

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Depression

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Insomnia

Respiratory

Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Pulmonary eosinophilia

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Pneumonia with cellular and eosinophilic pulmonary infiltration

Pneumonia with cellular and eosinophilic pulmonary infiltration was observed when this drug was administered once a week with sulfadoxine.

Hypersensitivity

Frequency not reported: Hypersensitivity reactions (included erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, Lyell's syndrome, hepatitis, anaphylaxis, pulmonary reactions, maculopapular rashes)

Cardiovascular

Circulatory collapse was reported in patients treated with higher than recommended doses.

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Circulatory collapse

Frequency not reported: Disorders of cardiac rhythm, arrhythmias

Metabolic

Hyperphenylalaninemia was reported in neonates treated for congenital toxoplasmosis.

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Hyperphenylalaninemia

Frequency not reported: Anorexia

Genitourinary

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Hematuria

Oncologic

A 51-year-old female developed chronic granulocytic leukemia after taking this drug for 2 years for toxoplasmosis and a 56-year-old patient developed reticulum cell sarcoma after taking this drug for 14 months for toxoplasmosis.

Frequency not reported: Chronic granulocytic leukemia, reticulum cell sarcoma

Editorial References and Review

Medically reviewed by USARx EDITORIAL TEAM Last updated on 1/1/2020.

Source: Drugs.com Pyrimethamine (www.drugs.com/mtm/pyrimethamine.html).