Medical Definition of Antiprotozoal

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Antiprotozoal: Something that destroys protozoa or inhibits their growth and ability to reproduce.

A few of the protozoa of medical importance include Plasmodium (the cause of malaria); Entamoeba histolytica (the cause of amebiasis, amebic dysentery) and Trichomonas vaginalis (a cause of vaginal infection); and Pneumocystis carinii (a common cause of pneumonia in immunodeficient persons).

Some antiprotozoal drugs include the antimalarials Aralen (chloroquine), Daraprim (pyrimethamine), Lariam (mefloquine) and Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine); Flagyl (metronidazole) which is active against Entamoeba histolytica and Trichomonas vaginalis; and Mepron (atovaquone) for Pneumocystis carinii.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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