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Pamaquine was the second synthetic antimalarial drug to be discovered (after methylene blue). It was synthesised by Schulemann, Schoenhoeffer and Wingler in 1924. In 1926, Roehl demonstrated that pamaquine was effective in treating malaria in birds, and introduced it into use in humans.
A large trial of pamaquine performed by the Royal Army Medical Corps and the Indian Medical Corps in 1929 showed for the first time that it was possible to prevent relapse of vivax malaria. Prior to this, it was understood that patients with vivax malaria would suffer from relapses, but there was no treatment that could prevent the relapses from occurring.
Pamaquine is effective against the hypnozoites of the relapsing malarias (P. vivax and P. ovale); and unlike primaquine, it is also very effective against the erythrocytic stages of all four human malarias. One small clinical trial of pamaquine as a causal prophylactic was disappointing (whereas primaquine is an extremely effective causal prophylactic).
- Roehl W (1926). "Die Wirkung of Plasmochins auf die Vogelmalaria". Arch Schiffs-Tropenhyg 30 (Suppl 3): 311–318.
- Manifold J (1931). "Report on a trial of plasmoquine and quinine in the treatment of benign tertian malaria". Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps LVI (5): 321–338,410–423.
- Sweeney AW, Blackburn CRB, KH Rieckmann. (1 August 2004). "Short report: The activity of pamaquine, an 8-aminoquinoline drug, against sporozoite-induced infections of Plasmodium vivax (New Guinea strains)". Am J Trop Med Hyg 71 (2): 187–189. PMID 15306708.
- World Health Organization (2010). Guidelines for the treatment of malaria (2nd ed.). Geneva, Switzerland: WHO Press. p. 194.