Last update Nov. 23, 2022

Mepacrine Hydrochloride

Low Risk

Possibly safe. Probably compatible. Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended. Read the Comment.

Mepacrine is an antiprotozoal used as an alternative to nitroimidazoles in the treatment of giardiasis, in the treatment of some forms of lupus erythematosus, of cutaneous leishmaniasis, as a sterilization technique for contraception, and in the management of malignant pleural effusions. It was used as an antimalarial and is under investigation in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Oral administration.

At the date of the last update, we found no published data on its excretion in breast milk.

Its pharmacokinetic data (high percentage of protein binding, moderately high molecular weight and wide volume of distribution) make it highly unlikely that significant quantities will pass into breast milk, but its long elimination half-life would facilitate this.

The most common adverse effects are dizziness, headache, and gastrointestinal disturbances such as nausea and vomiting; psychiatric symptoms may appear. (Martindale, Mørch 2020, Chaudhuri 1946)

It is sold in very few countries.

Until more published data is known about this drug in relation to breastfeeding, known safer alternatives are preferable, especially during the neonatal period and in the event of prematurity.


  • Albendazole ( Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.)
  • Mebendazole ( Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.)
  • Primaquine Phosphate ( Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.)

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Mepacrine Hydrochloride is also known as

Mepacrine Hydrochloride in other languages or writings:


Mepacrine Hydrochloride belongs to this group or family:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Mepacrine Hydrochloride in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Oral Bioavail. 100 %
Molecular weight 509 daltons
Protein Binding 85 %
VD Alto - High l/Kg
Tmax 1 - 3 hours
120 hours


  1. Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Martindale: The Complete Drug Reference Medicines Complete. available online from: 2022 Abstract
  2. Delaye C, Suarez F, Aguilar C, Guerin C, Batista R, Chasport C, Paugam A, Zerbit J. Access and use of quinacrine (mepacrine) in the treatment of resistant giardiasis. Infect Dis Now. 2021 Nov;51(8):682-684. Abstract
  3. Mørch K, Hanevik K. Giardiasis treatment: an update with a focus on refractory disease. Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2020 Oct;33(5):355-364. Abstract
  4. CHAUDHURI RN. Mepacrine in malaria. Ind Med Gaz. 1946 Sep;81(9):363. No abstract available. Abstract Full text (link to original source)

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