A project of the New Mexico AIDS Education and Training Center. Partially funded by the National Library of Medicine
Fact Sheets can be downloaded from the Internet at http://www.aidsinfonet.org
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Fact Sheet Number 538
WHAT IS ATOVAQUONE?
Atovaquone is an antibiotic. Sometimes
it is prescribed to treat pneumocystis
pneumonia (PCP, see Fact Sheet 515).
It is also sometimes used to treat
toxoplasmosis (See Fact Sheet 517).
Atovaquone can be given to prevent
PCP or toxoplasmosis. It is also given
in cases where a patient is allergic to
Sulfa drugs (Bactrim or Septra) or
Dapsone, or when other therapies have
Atovaquone is as effective as more
fewer and different side effects.
However, it is very expensive. Because
of its cost, it is usually only considered
TMP/SMX or dapsone.
(ART) can make your CD4 cell count go
up. If it goes over 200 and stays there
for 3 months, it may be safe to stop
taking PCP medications such as
atovaquone. Talk to your health care
provider before discontinuing any
WHAT IS PCP?
PCP (or pneumocystis pneumonia) is
infection in people with HIV. Without
treatment, over 85% of people with HIV
would eventually develop PCP. It has
been the major killer of people with HIV.
PCP is now almost entirely preventable
Unfortunately, PCP is still common in
people who are infected with HIV for a
long time before getting treatment. In
fact, 30% to 40% of people with HIV
have PCP if they wait to get treatment
until their CD4 cell counts (see Fact
Sheet 124) are around 50. Fact Sheet
515 has more information about PCP.
PCP is caused by a fungus. A healthy
immune system can control the fungus.
However, when the immune system is
weak or damaged, PCP causes illness
in children and in adults.