Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

In our recent paper on the clinical pharmacology of tafenoquine (Watson et al., 2022), we used all available individual patient pharmacometric data from the tafenoquine pre-registration clinical efficacy trials to characterise the determinants of anti-relapse efficacy in tropical vivax malaria. We concluded that the currently recommended dose of tafenoquine (300 mg in adults, average dose of 5 mg/kg) is insufficient for cure in all adults, and a 50% increase to 450 mg (7.5 mg/kg) would halve the risk of vivax recurrence by four months. We recommended that clinical trials of higher doses should be carried out to assess their safety and tolerability. Sharma and colleagues at the pharmaceutical company GSK defend the currently recommended adult dose of 300 mg as the optimum balance between radical curative efficacy and haemolytic toxicity (Sharma et al., 2024). We contend that the relative haemolytic risks of the 300 mg and 450 mg doses have not been sufficiently well characterised to justify this opinion. In contrast, we provided evidence that the currently recommended 300 mg dose results in sub-maximal efficacy, and that prospective clinical trials of higher doses are warranted to assess their risks and benefits.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





Plasmodium vivax malaria, epidemiology, global health, haemolysis, human, infectious disease, microbiology, radical cure, tafenoquine, Adult, Humans, Aminoquinolines, Antimalarials, Hemolysis, Malaria, Vivax, Primaquine, Prospective Studies, Meta-Analysis as Topic