Tafenoquine: The new kid on the block

Victor Chen, Johanna P. Daily

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: This is a review of tafenoquine, a new antimalarial drug. Here we examine the recent literature supporting the use of tafenoquine and summarize the opportunities and challenges for its well tolerated use worldwide. Recent findings: Tafenoquine was recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of dormant liver stage (hypnozoite) in Plasmodium vivax and for malaria prophylaxis. Single-dose tafenoquine provides equivalent efficacy to 14 days of primaquine for radical cure in P. vivax, and it can be dosed weekly to prevent malaria. However, tafenoquine can only be used in patients with normal G6PD activity and is contraindicated in children and during pregnancy or in lactating mothers with infants of deficient or unknown G6PD status. Summary: Tafenoquine's long half-life allows a single dose to achieve radical cure, and weekly dosing for chemoprophylaxis to provide an exciting therapeutic option for patient care and as a new weapon for malaria control/eradication programs. Global implementation of tafenoquine will require the development and validation of a robust, low-cost diagnostic to reliably identify G6PD-deficient individuals. In addition, studies on tafenoquine safety in children are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-412
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Infectious Diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • 8-aminoquinoline
  • G6PD deficiency
  • Plasmodium vivax radical cure
  • malaria chemoprophylaxis
  • point-of-care test
  • tafenoquine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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