Medical Definition of Antiprotozoal

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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Last Editorial Review: 5/13/2016

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