The role of atovaquone tablets in treating Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia

W. T. Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


At the start of the AIDS epidemic, the only agents licensed for treatment of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) were trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX) and pentamidine. Both are effective against PCP, but their use has been compromised by adverse reactions that necessitate discontinuing therapy in ≤ 54% of patients. As a result of the limitations in the use of these therapies, research efforts have been directed toward the development of effective agents with an improved safety profile. Of these agents, one of the best studied is atovaquone, a hydroxynaphthoquinone that has been licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in the treatment of mild to moderate PCP in patients intolerant to TMP-SMX. Clinical studies have shown that atovaquone is associated with overall therapeutic success rates equivalent to those of intravenous pentamidine and TMP-SMX, although its therapeutic efficacy rates are somewhat lower. However, atovaquone is associated with fewer treatment-limiting side effects than the other drugs. The literature concerning the efficacy and safety of atovaquone for the treatment of PCP will be reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-252
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes and Human Retrovirology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995


  • Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia
  • atovaquone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Virology


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